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The featherweight GOAT Alexander Volkanovski made easy work of Max Holloway at UFC 276 but has immediately been met with a line of challengers following the fight.
After his successful title defence against the Hawaiian, Volkanovski was approached backstage by former two-division UFC champion Henry Cejudo.
Cejudo, who once held but the Flyweight and Bantamweight belts, retired from the sport of MMA in May 2020, however, has recently been itching for a comeback fight.
Exactly two years after hanging up the gloves, it was revealed he had re-entered the USADA testing pool and now he’s taken the opportunity backstage at T-Mobile Arena to confront Volkanovski in an attempt to set up his return match-up.
Footage of the incident shows Cejudo congratulating the Australian on his victory while also making his case for the next shot at the belt.
He says: “This is all competition, man.”
“If an Olympic medal and two UFC belts ain’t enough, I just want to compete, Alexander. As a competitor, I respect the s**t out of you.
“Congratulations No. 1. I just want to know how far I can take it and that’s why I’m challenging you.”
Volk replies: “Well let’s be real, I need someone to challenge me.”
To which Cejudo shoots his shot, saying: “I’m here. I’m here.”
Alexander seems to indicate he’d be interested in the fight signing off the conversation by saying ‘let’s see if we can make it happen’.
It isn’t the first time that Cejudo has attempted to position himself as a challenger to Volaknovski.
When Max Holloway was forced to withdraw from the bout against Volaknovski at UFC 272, the still retired Cejudo put his hand up to be his replacement.
I have nothing else to show. If I have to go and win my belt back to fight at 135lbs and eventually come up I will do it! But my preference has alway been to do something that no one’s done before. @danawhite https://t.co/hUuBAPNbm6— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) July 3, 2022
However, UFC boss Dana White wasn’t quite interested in having Cejudo come back immediately into the championship picture.
White told BT Sport: “You got guys like the Zombie, Josh Emmett, Giga [Chikadze] — who is fighting this weekend — you’ve got these guys getting in there and doing it three times a year and working their way up.
“For Cejudo to retire and think he can jump into any weight division and take on the champion, that’s not how it works.”
Appearing on The Triple C and Schmo Show Cejudo responded, saying: “At the end of the day, Dana White, the UFC, they don’t trust in their fighters.
“They don’t have faith in Alexander Volkanovski, they really don’t, because if they did they would allow him to try to put me down.”
With Alexander The Great seemingly steamrolling through everyone in the Featherweight division, perhaps Cejudo does have a case now to be next in line.