Monday, May 16, 2022

Volkanovski Ranks McGregor Last Among Best FW Champions Ever

When it comes to the debate surrounding the UFC‘s featherweight GOAT, there’s one former champion who reigning king Alexander Volkanovski doesn’t think has a claim.

While Volkanovski’s current stint with the belt is making a pretty good case for himself, with some even suggesting he already sits on the all-time throne in the division, three elites stood on the mountaintop before him: José Aldo, Conor McGregor, and Max Holloway.

The most memorable crowning in the weight class’ history came at UFC 194 in 2015. In the event’s headliner, a “Notorious” Irishman turned his interim strap into an undisputed one by sleeping Aldo, who rode an 18-fight, nine-year unbeaten streak into the contest.

That memorable night was to be McGregor’s final appearance at 145 pounds. He went on to share the Octagon twice at welterweight with Nate Diaz, before becoming the UFC’s first simultaneous two-division champion with a lightweight crowning against Eddie Alvarez.

For Volkanovski, that left McGregor missing the key piece of the puzzle when it comes to GOAT status and a high place among the featherweight champs like Aldo, who Volkanovski gave respect to as the current featherweight GOAT.

Volkanovski: McGregor Won’t Like This, But You Need Defenses

During UFC 273 media day on Wednesday, which came ahead of the Aussie’s third title defense against “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung this weekend, Volkanovski was asked where he’d rank McGregor among the other divisional kingpins the promotion has seen.

While the 33-year-old didn’t deny the Irishman’s abilities at featherweight, he suggested McGregor’s quick exit and lack of defenses contribute to his position at the bottom of the pile.

“Yeah, man, you need defenses. That’s the thing,” said Volkanovski. “I’m gonna give him respect. The dude can fight. He made some bad decisions and all that type of stuff, but he can fight. To take out Aldo in Aldo’s prime and all that, that’s saying something as well. But Aldo has shown that he’s still in his prime. He doesn’t age.

“But again, I feel like I’ve definitely done a lot more than him, so I think he’s, out of all the champions, I’d say he’d have to be at the bottom of the list,” added Volkanovski. “He ain’t gonna like that, but whatever.”

While ranking anyone last in anything always sounds bad, it certainly shouldn’t be looked at as such when the other names feature Volkanovski, Holloway, and Aldo, who boast a combined 12 title retentions between them.

Nevertheless, it’s likely that with McGregor’s self-belief and outspoken personality, he won’t be too pleased to read the Australian’s placement. Perhaps the only consolation will be that the reigning champ didn’t rank himself first.

Then again, given that he knocked out Volkanovski’s featherweight GOAT in 13 seconds, maybe not…

Do you agree with Alexander Volkanovski? Does Conor McGregor rank last among the UFC’s featherweight champions?

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