Alexander Volkanovski reacts to Sean O’Malley calling out Ilia Topuria: ‘I know I’m fighting for the title next’

Alexander Volkanovski has dibs on Ilia Topuria.

On Saturday, Sean O’Malley successfully defended his bantamweight title with a lopsided decision victory over Marlon Vera at UFC 299. After the win, O’Malley immediately called for a fight against newly-crowned featherweight champion Ilia Topuria, telling UFC CEO Dana White to “get me a jet to Spain.” But the former featherweight champion wasn’t entirely on board with that plan.

“He called out Ilia,” Volkanovski said on his YouTube channel. “Look, unless you’re fighting Ilia anytime soon, if you can do a turnaround anytime soon, I guess you can have it because I’m having a little rest. But I’m fighting him later in the year, or whenever that is. I know I’m fighting for the title next. So if you are going to try and squeeze that in, it better be soon, because I’m next.

“So there you go. There’s your little window if you want it, Sean. Congratulations on your victory, mate. Impressive.”

Volkanovski is the second-longest reigning featherweight champion in UFC history, but recently dropped the title to Topuria when he was brutally knocked out in their fight at UFC 298. After the loss — Volkanovski’s second knockout loss in a row — “The Great” said he would take some time off to let his body recover, but intended to fight Topuria later in the year.

For his part, Topuria also seems to be on board with this plan as he shut down O’Malley’s callout on Saturday, telling the bantamweight champion that first he needed to fight No. 1 contender Merab Dvalishvili.

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