Despite the controversy around his most recent win, Alexander Volkanovski has cemented his legacy as one of the best featherweights ever.
At UFC 251, Volkanovski beat Max Holloway via a super-close decision making it back-to-back dubs against the Hawaiian. Those wins followed on from his win over Jose Aldo, meaning he’s beaten the consensus greatest featherweights of all time throughout his run.
After that win on Fight Island, Volk announced he would be moving on to new challengers in the future which is when an old face popped his head out.
After a knockout win against Dominick Cruz at UFC 249, Henry Cejudo shocked the world by announcing his retirement. He vacated his Flyweight and Bantamweight titles and walked off into the sunset, having beaten Cruz, TJ Dillashaw and ‘Mighty Mouse’ Demetrious Johnson in three of his last four bouts. Cejudo though, is apparently not quite done with the UFC.
Following UFC 251 Cejudo took to Twitter to call out Volkanovski for a featherweight title shot, stating he would knockout the ‘overgrown midget’.
Volk dismissed a fight with Cejudo, saying it does nothing for his legacy. He did however say that if the UFC paid him the right amount, he’d be happy to knock ‘Triple C’ out.
So what would happen if these two fought? It would be entertaining that’s for sure.
Cejudo ended his career as a double champ with only two losses on his record. He beat the consensus greatest flyweight of all-time Demetrious Johnson via decision, before knocking-out a steroid-using TJ Dillashaw in just 32 seconds. He followed that up with a stunning comeback knockout win of Marlon Moraes to win a second belt before becoming the first person to knockout consensus greatest bantamweight of all-time Dominick Cruz.
A hall of fame resumé if I’ve ever seen one, but those wins are draped in controversy. The win over Mighty Mouse was undoubtedly questionable, with many scoring the bout in favour of the defending champion at the time. Follow that up with the drug-test failure of TJ Dillashaw, who was dropping 10lbs in weight for the fight, and then a controversial referee stoppage in the Cruz fight and there are still lots of question marks.
One thing not up for debate though is Cejudo’s skill level. He is a world class wrestler; his Olympic gold medal proves that. He also carries great power in his hands as his 8 knockout wins prove. He stepped up in weight and his cardio and striking held up, so why not do it again?
The reason why not, is because Alexander Volkanovski is not your normal 145lbs featherweight. It’s well documented that ‘The Great’ is a former rugby player and at one point weighed in at 214lbs. It’s also well noted that he made the cut and has lost just once professionally, and that was at welterweight.
Volk has tremendous cardio, as shown in the Holloway bouts where he kept up with the cardio king through 5 rounds both times. He also has great striking and power but his wrestling is underrated. He has good takedown defence but is also not scared to go for takedowns of his own to secure positions. He got Holloway down several times in their second fight but he’s also shown it well in previous bouts.
His pressure is unrelenting and he’d unquestionably be the biggest man that Cejudo has fought. Volk has shown a tremendous chin in his previous fights so Cejudo would have to rely on out-wrestling a far bigger fighter to get the win.
In the end, Volk is just too big and too strong for Cejudo. I’d give the Australian the nod with a knockout win.