Champion Alexander Volkanovski doesn’t mind the idea of an interim title fight

Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski successfully defended his title for the fourth time on July 2, defeating former titleholder Max Holloway for the third time.

During the UFC 276 co-main event, Volkanovski suffered a hand injury that required surgery. He’s had the procedure, but will not be able to punch with that hand for at least 11 weeks. When he heals and returns, ‘The Great’ would like to challenge for the lightweight title and get the opportunity to become a two-division UFC champion.

Yair Rodriguez moved to No. 2 in the divisional rankings after his UFC Long Island win over the previously No. 2 ranked Brian Ortega. Holloway remains the top ranked contender in the 145-pound weight class. Sitting in the No. 3 spot is Josh Emmett, who believes he should be next in line after extending his winning steak to five consecutive fights in his last outing.

UFC president Dana White said that he ‘doesn’t hate’ the idea of Rodriguez and Emmett fighting for an interim 145-pound championship while Volkanovski recovers and potentially moves up to the lightweight division to chase a second belt.

Volkanovski is fine with an interim champion being crowned while he’s on the mend and chasing championships.

“To be honest, I don’t mind the idea while I’m sitting here,” Volkanovski said during an appearance on The MMA Hour. “There’s no clear (No. 1 contender). Let them fight for that No. 1. I think they both deserve it. I think Josh Emmett and Yair are both in a position where they could get a shot.”

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“Let them fight for the the No. 1 contender. If it’s for an interim belt, we’ll fight. Sweet,” Volkanovski said. “If they do this interim thing, if that happens, it will just make it for a bigger fight anyway, so I don’t mind. You’ve got a clear No. 1 guy.”

“I don’t mind the idea to be honest. I don’t mind the idea,” he reiterated. “It doesn’t take anything away from me. At the end of the day, I’m still the champion.”

“Is anyone going to say that they’re the real champ? I don’t think so. Everyone is going to look at me as the real champ either way. And if for some reason people are saying it does water it (the championship) down and this guy is getting all this hype, it just makes my next fight bigger with them.”

“Give me a No. 1 guy.”