Overlook the taunts, the jabs, the dogged doubters who will at all times discover a option to put disrespect on Alexander Volkanovski’s title.
The Australian UFC featherweight champion is now not combating to show them unsuitable or to point out one other aspect to his recreation.
He has already proven loads and even when the 33-year-old dominates Max Holloway of their trilogy bout at UFC 276 in Las Vegas, these critics will simply discover one more reason to discredit the champion.
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It is a “legacy” struggle for Volkanovski. The Australian says so himself, calling it an opportunity to place himself ready to sort out a totally totally different beast totally – the 155-pound weight division.
“That’s the reason I take into consideration this third struggle with Max as being the massive one,” Volkanovski stated on Tuesday.
“It’s going to offer me that point to go for that double champ standing. That’s what I need.”
And if a shot at Charles Oliveira eventuates, Volkanovski has already seen indicators of weak spot to imagine he can snap the Brazilian’s 11-fight win streak.
“He’s a harmful fighter,” Volkanovski stated.
“Clearly he’s proven that he will be crushed. He confirmed that in his previous few, though they had been thrilling, he was virtually crushed each a kind of occasions.
“With me, I ain’t gonna give him the alternatives. If I land huge on somebody, they ain’t gonna get the chance to land huge on me. That’s not how we roll. I’m gonna land huge and never get hit.
“I plan on going up and transferring up. He’s harmful. I believe it might be a large struggle.”
First although, Volkanovski’s full focus is on Holloway and ending his arch-nemesis in such dominant vogue that there is no such thing as a longer any doubt that we’re witnessing an all-time nice within the featherweight division.
“I’m gonna go on the market and I plan on placing a beating on him this time,” Volkanovski stated.
“I actually do wish to make a press release. I did initially need this trilogy to close individuals up, however proper now, it’s not about that. I don’t care.
“That is what’s gonna be a legacy struggle for me. Actually taking him out once more will actually put my title on the market and lift that bar.”
But when Volkanovski has his hand-held up excessive once more, don’t be shocked if he seems to take the largest step in his profession on dwelling soil.
“Hey Australia, possibly we do it right here,” the featherweight champion stated to rousing cheers.
The UFC final got here down underneath earlier this 12 months when Israel Adesanya defended his middleweight title belt in opposition to Australian Robert Whittaker at Marvel Stadium.
Adesanya known as it a second he would “always remember”, not simply in his combating profession however in his life usually, though the Kiwi will not be going to observe in Volkanovski’s footsteps and go after a 3rd struggle.
“He’s an amazing fighter however I understand how that ebook ends,” Adesanya stated of Whittaker.
“I’ve learn that ebook twice already. First time with a fast learn, second time slightly bit longer… I don’t like studying the identical ebook time and again.”
Jared Cannonier, Adesanya’s opponent in the principle occasion at UFC 276, is one other ebook totally for the defending champion although.
Unafraid to come back ahead and hit you with aggression and energy, Cannonier takes calculated dangers – one thing that might work in his favour but in addition show his downfall.
He’s fairly the problem for Adesanya however not the Kiwi’s best in his profession.
“I don’t imagine so, that’s my first inkling,” Adesanya stated.
“But it surely doesn’t imply I underestimate him. Everybody’s a troublesome challenger. He’s a man that packs rather a lot.
“Jared nonetheless carries that power round so I can’t overlook him however I don’t assume he’ll be the hardest problem. I truthfully assume I’ll make this straightforward. I actually imagine I’ll make this look straightforward.”
Confidence and swag comes naturally for Adesanya, though it’s nonetheless one thing fellow Kiwi Kai Kara-France is studying.
However on the again of a three-fight win streak, together with a press release knockout victory over Cody Garbrandt, Kara-France is able to shed the underdog tag that has adopted him round for therefore lengthy.
“It’s type of triggering,” Kara-France, who fights Brandon Moreno at UFC 277, stated of that tag.
“It brings me again to once I was in highschool getting bullied for my peak. I suppose getting ignored, underestimated.”
He will likely be underestimated once more this time round, having already misplaced to Moreno at UFC 245 in 2019.
However that was over two years in the past and it is a new Kara-France, one who is able to “shut up all of the doubters” and “spoil the social gathering”.
“So Moreno,” Kara-France warned, “don’t blink child”.
And don’t blink on the Australian and New Zealand expertise creating waves within the UFC as a result of should you do, you might be already lacking out on historical past being made.
“That like is one champion, two champion, about to be a 3rd champion from this area of the world,” Adesanya stated, trying in the direction of Kara-France.
“Let’s simply truthfully soak that in for a second. It’s simply mind-boggling. It’s one thing that’s by no means been finished from this aspect of the world on this period.”