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Alexander Volkanovski – Title ready but when will he get his shot? Could be a long wait

Who is Alexander Volkanovski? Well he’s the man who recently comfortably beat legendary Brazilian striker Jose Aldo at UFC 237 in Rio De Janeiro Brazil. This was easily Volkanovski’s biggest win of his career, yet what was particularly noteworthy about the win was how easily Volkanovski breezed through the fight against such a usually dangerous opponent.

It was almost like Aldo never really got out of first gear, while Volkanovski never really needed to go  much faster in order to get a clear unanimous decision victory.

His pressure is always phenomenal in every fight, but Volkanovski dominated all areas of  this fight with the legendary Jose Aldo and it was particularly impressive seeing his striking development on the feet, which looked more skilled and seasoned then ever before as he mixed in excellently timed leg kicks, footwork, head movement and feints.

Volkanovski’s Boxing was sharp, he was never scared out of the pocket by anything Aldo threw and he closed the distance to use excellent cage control to continue to slow down Aldo intermittently, without ever really pushing for many actual takedowns.

What also stood out was Volkanovski’s cardio which we already knew could handle 3 rounds at an insane pace, but now we know that he can maintain his high pace for 5 rounds if needed, seemingly without much issue.

The man is undefeated for a reason and anyone who did not believe his streak would continue through Jose Aldo, where strongly reminded in this fight just how good Volkanovski actually is.

But maybe some would say the fight might not have been “exciting” enough to get Volkanovski the title shot he wants anytime soon…

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What did this win highlight?

Like I say it’s a reminder for any doubters of Volkanovski that he is for real, which is something as MMA fans we have to always appreciate seeing – a new talent breaching the high walls of the top 5 of a division in the UFC.

In recent years there has been a string of previously lesser known fighters that have soared into the top 5 of various divisions in the UFC, most notably the likes of: Francis Ngannou, Thiago Santos, Israel Adesanya, Darren Till, Kamaru Usman, Marlon Moraes, Jessica Andrade among others.

Volkanovski with this win can now be added to this list and has essnetially cemented his place as the number one contender in the UFC’s 145 division.

There is no going back once you hit the number one spot in a division right? Well despite what many including Volkanovski will feel according to rankings – life especially in terms of work tends to follow sometimes unexplainable paths, often according to money and seniority, which is where Volkanovski now finds himself.

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Is he ready for a title shot?

Alexander Volkanovski is definitely title ready right now, he is as mentally and physically tough as they get, going down to Rio in Brazil to cruise past the city’s favourite fighter – so I have no doubt that Volkanovski will push current undisputed champion Max Holloway through a gruelling fight and may even dethrone the legendary Hawaiian UFC Featherweight champion.

But as I alluded to in what this win highlighted, Volkanovski has been told he must wait for his title shot, as the UFC owners have decided to offer the next 145 title shot to former UFC Lightweight champion Frankie Edgar at UFC 240 on July 27th.

There is no doubt that the UFC owners factored in seniority and most importantly what fight will sell more, into picking Frankie Edgar over Alexander Volkanovski for the next title shot at Featherweight.

MMA is not always a fair sport, prize fighting is a brutal game where as time goes on rankings are become less and less relevant as to what fight the UFC wants to put on.

Controversy and shit talking sells, and so does famous fighter names, Frankie Edgar has a well developed fanbase while Volkanovski is in that really hard spot of being such a great fighter but not moving the needle of PPV sales much.

As an MMA purist I always want to see the most deserving fighters get the title shots, based on a rankings and skills in the cage – there is no doubt that at this moment in time the most deserving fighter of a title shot at 145 is Alexander Volkanovski, so I hope for his sake he does not have to wait too long, because we have seen this many times before through the years – a fighter with amazing talent with no huge fanbase being forced to fight lesser fights and risk losing his number 1 contender status.

Have a good one people!

 

Marley Dawkins

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