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UFC champ Alexander Volkanovski loves being doubted about lightweight move: ‘I want to keep shocking people’

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UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has started to embrace the underdog role.

Volkanovski (25-1 MMA, 12-0 UFC) left no doubt in his trilogy fight with Max Holloway, scoring a shutout of the Hawaiian to retain his title at UFC 276.

After beating Holloway three times and dominating both Brian Ortega and Chan Sung Jung, Volkanovski wants to capture the lightweight title. Some, including top contender Beneil Dariush, have warned the featherweight champ of the stacked 155-pound division, but Volkanovski is happy to keep proving everyone wrong.

“We’re moving up to lightweight,” Volkanovski told Fox Sports Australia. “Again, people are going to be doubting me. I love that. I want to be the underdog and you know I want people to (say), ‘He surely can’t,’ you know, improve and do this and do that. Let’s do it. I want to do it. I want to keep shocking people, keep proving myself and proving my worth and keep doing what I’m doing. I’m going to raise the bar every time I step in there.”

Volkanovski thinks he’s cleared out most of the division and thinks it’s an appropriate time for him to chase dual-champ status.

“I’m in a position now where I want to take my best options – what’s the best route for me and things like that,” Volkanovski said. “Obviously lightweight – I’ve been talking about wanting to do that, and I didn’t wait until I went out there and finished that chapter with Max to really call for it. I’m the type of guy I feel like it needs to be earned. You ain’t just going to call for things if it’s not deserved.

“I think I deserve it. A lot of people are talking about it and want it, so I want to go out and take on that challenge. Right now, there’s a lot of killers in our division. But I want a clear No. 1 guy. That’s the only problem right now. You’ve got guys like Josh Emmett, Yair Rodriguez, Arnold Allen, who’s a great dude and a great fighter. It’s going to be a challenge when he’s there. But I think the two guys that are maybe closest are Yair and Josh Emmett.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie