Apr 11, 2022
UFC 273: Post-Fight Press Conference Transcript
UFC 273: Post-Fight Press Conference. Read the transcript here.
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Dana White: (00:00)
There’s a record again. We don’t know yet, though. They’re checking on it. I think the last one was 3.3, but the performance of the nights went to Oleinik and Volkanovski. And if I got to tell you what the fight of the night is, you shouldn’t be here. And then the crypto performance of the nights, they’re still tallying the results, but [Lanae 00:00:33] will let you guys know when that comes out. Those guys get $60,000 in bitcoin.
With Volkanovski, it might have been the performance of the year, much less performance of the night. What can you say about how good he looked tonight?
Dana White: (00:47)
Well, I think tonight he came out and made a statement. You know what I mean? That, “I’m the baddest dude in this division, in the world.” He made The Zombie look like he didn’t even belong there and fight probably could have been stopped the round before it did, but he couldn’t look better than he looked tonight. He looked incredible.
This of course was supposed to be a Max Holloway fight before we put in Zombie. He said he thinks that’s a fight you guys are probably going to make again. Do you feel like that’s the way to lean right now is to put the fight back together with Holloway?
Dana White: (01:16)
I don’t know. Sitting right here, right now, I don’t even know. I don’t know what’s next for him, but we’ll see.
Co-main event, obviously a back and forth title fight there. A lot of people had scores all over the place. I’m just curious maybe how you had it scored and what you thought of Aljamain’s performance tonight.
Dana White: (01:34)
Yeah, I thought that the judges blew that one. I had it three to two the other way. I don’t know how you guys scored it, but I guess it’s all in how everybody scored that first round.
You had a 3-2 for Aljamain, but that first round was so close. I guess with that in mind, you got Peter Yan in there saying, “Let’s just do this again.” You got Aljamain saying, “I want TJ Dillashaw,” who was here all week. With a fight that close that you think went the other way, do you book it again and do a third fight between them?
Dana White: (02:00)
I think you do. Listen, that fight’s going to be there. Peter Yan is one of the baddest dudes in that division. So yeah, you probably do the TJ fight and…
And then I’ll ask you lastly about the fight the night, obviously with Khamzat Chimaev and Gilbert Burns. Gosh, lived up to everything and more, I guess, just talk about that. The energy was electric. It was insane. What did you take out of that fight?
Dana White: (02:24)
Yeah, it’s one of the best fights I’ve ever seen. It’s one of the coolest fights I’ve ever been to. Like you said, the place was so loud and people were going crazy. That fight was eclipsing the co-main and main event all week.
Dana White: (02:37)
And I was talking to Rogan and Sean and Mick everybody else. Think about this, when’s the last time you saw a guy come out of nowhere, right? Nobody knows who he is, comes out of nowhere, then fights a couple fights and then fights the number two ranked guy in the world and wins. When you get into the top five in the UFC, no joke, man. And especially in that division, that division is straight killers. Tonight was a big test for him and he passed that.
Dana White: (03:11)
Think about this too, he’s never had that big moment where… Coming into this week, how many fights does this guy got in the UFC? He’s got a couple fights. The buzz for him is bigger than the main event, co-main event. Everybody’s talking about him. Crowds’ going crazy, like we’re in his hometown or some shit. And then you come out and you fight a guy like Gilbert Burns, who I’m sure completely felt disrespected going into this fight and wanted to make a point himself.
Dana White: (03:40)
Teddy Atlas tweeted tonight, which I loved. At the end of the second round, Teddy Atlas said, “We know what Khamzat Chimaev has on the outside when it comes to talent, we’re about to find out what he’s got on the inside now.” And that was going into the third round, nobody could have said it better.
Well, I was going to say, what’s your biggest takeaway, right? Because it seems like there’s two paths, either one, like you said, he just fought a real dude and gutted out a decision win, and we found out he’s got heart. And then there’s other people that are saying, “Ah, see, he can’t run through everybody. He’s not as good as we thought he was.”
Dana White: (04:11)
Well, he’s human. Any asshole that said that doesn’t think the kid’s human, he’s a human being and he just beat the number two welterweight in the world in the UFC with a couple of fights in the UFC. If you don’t think he is the real deal, you’re out of your mind.
Dana White: (04:29)
Yeah, he’s human. And funny, Till keeps telling me, “This guy never gets tired. This guy never, ever runs out of energy. He never, never…” But you you can’t train in the gym for what happened tonight. You can’t. I’m sure this week, leading up to this week, he’s had a ton of pressure on him, lot of anxiety. Who knows how well he slept last night? All the things that go into the buzz and energy. And then I’m sure there was a huge adrenaline dump after that first round.
Dana White: (05:04)
So this is shit you can’t train for. And you either make it through it or you don’t. He made it through with flying colors.
The last thing for me, I’ll just ask you. But you said coming in, you thought Covington would be the right matchup for him moving forward. Now that you’ve seen him tonight, do you still feel like that’s the right fight to make?
Dana White: (05:20)
Well, that’s the other thing, all these other guys who didn’t want to fight them before, I’m sure are looking at them differently now, too. But that’s what happens when you break into the top five in the world in any of these weight classes, you are going in against the absolute best in the world. Gilbert Burns is number two. He almost knocked Usman out, who is the pound for pound best fighter in the world.
Dana White: (05:41)
So for people that are saying whatever, A, you probably don’t know jack shit about fighting, and B, you have to put it all into perspective.
Hey, Dana. You mentioned that you would like to do Khamzat and Colby on ABC, if you could get them to book on that fight. For people who don’t know, how massive could that fight be? Those two big names on ABC, what sort of numbers do you think you could pull on that?
Dana White: (06:04)
I don’t know. I don’t know, but it’s big. You saw tonight, we’re in Jacksonville, Florida, with a Russian and a Brazilian… not headliner, but the biggest fight of the night. Everybody’s going crazy. So, yeah, I think it’s a big fight.
Do you think in a way it’s almost better for Khamzat to have a fight like this? Instead of coming out and just knocking Gilbert out in like 15 seconds, we got to see what he has in him, what his skills are, holes in his game, stuff like that.
Dana White: (06:32)
I don’t think it’s better, it’s inevitable. Nobody rolls through anybody when you’re at this level. You just don’t go out… Not to say that somebody couldn’t catch somebody and things like that, those things happen. But yeah, you heard Gilbert. Gilbert said, “I was prepared to die tonight. I wasn’t going to come in here and roll over.”
Some of the shots that Khamzat took as well would put out most other welterweights too, right?
Dana White: (07:01)
Hundred percent. He took some big shots tonight and he looked good, man. This kid, how many times has he fought? Fought four times in what, the last… Huh? Four times in how many years?
Dana White: (07:22)
Two years? He’s fought four times in two years in the UFC. You know what I mean? And most of them without a crowd. Tonight was his first-
Dana White: (07:35)
I thought that was one of the greatest fights I’ve ever seen, man. And to be a part of, to be here in the arena, I don’t know how it came off on TV, but holy shit, it was awesome in here.
With the performance like that for Volkanovski, he showed his grit against Ortega and then tonight he just showed there were levels at that. Is he making an argument against Usman as being perhaps the pound for pound best in the sport at the moment?
Dana White: (07:58)
He’s up there. Yeah, he’s up there. He’s number two right now, anyway.
I think so, yeah.
Dana White: (08:06)
Yeah. The two best guys in the world pound for pound.
Outside of tonight, I saw yesterday that Joanna versus Zhang Weili, the rematch has been booked for Singapore. Is there any consideration to bring that five rounds considering the first fight was such an epic or is it going to be three rounds?
Dana White: (08:24)
That’s a good question. You want me to make it five rounds?
Could you please?
Dana White: (08:28)
Yeah. We’ll work on that.
Thank you. I appreciate that.
A lot of buzz has also been made of Ian Garry’s rise. A lot of people are comparing him to Conor McGregor. Even he himself says he welcomes those comparisons. And even Conor gave him a shout-out before his fight. What did you make of his performance in there going three rounds after his initial knockout win back in Madison Square Garden?
Dana White: (08:48)
Yeah. What happened with Conor, did you say?
Conor gave him a shout-out, like someone asked about Ian Garry and he says, “Oh, he’s looking sharp.” And this and that. So now even Conor is talking about Ian as kind of this next star from Ireland.
Dana White: (08:59)
Yeah. No, that’s awesome. Yeah, no, the kid looked good. Yeah.
Finally, I don’t know if you’re aware, but Aleksei Oleinik got his 60th professional win. I know you gave him the bonus, but what did you make of… Like his first fight was in ’94, I think, like Kay Hansen wasn’t even alive yet when he made his debut. So what did you make of his… I know you gave him the bonus, but just what did you make of his performance?
Dana White: (09:17)
Yeah. I didn’t know that. That’s awesome. That’s awesome. And you know what else, too? This is totally off subject, but I was just thinking about, I’m going to give Gilbert Burns his win money too.
Dana White: (09:30)
So he is going to get his show and win. That fight was ridiculous.
Dana, back here. Have you ever seen anything like Khamzat? I’ve had conversations about this all week. We’ve had Conor, we saw him rise up. But it was almost like every time Conor won, there was questions about like, “Well, what if he fights a wrestler? What if he fights this guy?” With Khamzat heading into tonight’s fight, it was almost inevitable that people thought he was just going to run through Gilbert. There was not a matter of if he was going to win, it was when he was going to win. Have you seen anything like this, this quickly?
Dana White: (10:02)
Well, the way that I looked at it is people were tuning in to see if he would run through Gil. Because even I was saying, if he runs through him the way he’s run through everybody, it’s just… But highly unlikely. It’s like when the odds came out, we were like, “What? They’re fucking crazy if they think those are what the odds should be against Gilbert Burns.”
Dana White: (10:23)
But yeah, that’s the amount of hype that he had, but look at what he’s done. Just the punch stats alone were two something to one. And the way that he destroyed guys and how easy he made it look. But I say this all the time, not just talking to you guys, but talking to other people, if you can break into the top five in the UFC, in whatever weight class you’re in, very, very few people actually do it. Very few people break into the top five. And to have four fights in two years, and I don’t even know what the highest rank guy he fought off the top of my head, but to go fight Gilbert Burns the number two welterweight in the world and win it, it’s unheard of.
And then I wanted to ask you about Mike Malott, who made his UFC debut today. And he had a ferocious knockout against Mickey Gall. And then he had a really good post fight interview where he put a GoFundMe over for his boxing coach, who’s 15-year-old daughter is battling cancer. And he said he’s going to donate half of his fight purse to support him and her, in this battle against cancer. What did you think of Mike’s performance and just what he had to say after the fight?
Dana White: (11:34)
Yeah, no, he looked good. The kid looked good. He’s fun. He’s fun to watch. And he can keep his 10 grand and I’ll show in his win and I’ll donate it to his coaches. Good. Yeah.
Dana White: (11:47)
So what’s that?
You’re handing out money.
Dana White: (11:52)
Yeah. Yeah. Right?
Dana? [crosstalk 00:11:54].
Dana White: (11:53)
Excuse me. Tonight was the 600th event in UFC history. Obviously, it seems your business is peaking more so than it ever has been. What do you feel like the growth can be from here for the UFC, after reaching this milestone of 600 events?
Dana White: (12:10)
Yeah. Well, first of all, I didn’t know that. Thank for letting me know that. That’s cool. And yeah, this thing’s on fire right now, man. It’s insane. Every event has been a sellout. We’re breaking records with the gates. Pay-per-views, et cetera, et cetera. It’s awesome. You guys know what I think and what I believe. I believe that this will be the biggest sport in the world, I believe that. Now that streaming is becoming a reality and I think in the next couple of years, maybe three to five years, there’s going to be three big players globally. Like CBS, NBC, and ABC, when we were growing up, I think there’s going to be three big global players. And the entire world will be able to watch at the same time. And that was literally mine and Lorenzo’s dream early on in the early days. So we’re heading there.
Dana White: (13:06)
Then, I mean, what’s the ceiling? What is there, 7, 8 billion people in the world? And you know the sport works everywhere. I said it would, and now we know it. And God forbid we get another Chinese world champion or somebody from here or there, it just continues to grow and get bigger.
And when you look at two of the bigger stars or names on your roster, Nate Diaz and Dustin Poirier, it seems like they’re both itching to fight pretty bad. Do you have any update on the future of those guys. Dustin’s saying he’s willing to fight at anyone, Nate asked for his release recently in a tweet. Where do things stand with those two?
Dana White: (13:43)
Yeah, we met with Nate last week. I don’t know where we ended up with it, but I just bopped in and said hi, but I don’t know. Yeah, we’ll figure it out.
Do you still like the idea of a fight between those two or would you maybe move on to something else with Dustin, maybe?
Dana White: (14:00)
Dana White: (14:02)
Dana White: (14:04)
Okay. Thank you, Dana.
Dana White: (14:05)
Dana real quick.
Dana White: (14:08)
Here. Here to your left.
Dana White: (14:10)
Yeah, right here.
Dana White: (14:12)
I keep staring at this guy back there, his mic doesn’t work.
A lot of fans were here supporting Korean Zombie. He said at the media day that he knew that this was likely his last title shot, obviously 35 years of age. If you could put into words what the Korean Zombie means for the promotion, obviously somebody that headlined many events and put on just fantastic fights.
Dana White: (14:32)
Yeah. You heard tonight, we’re in Jacksonville, Florida and the crowd was chanting, “Zombie.” He’s one of the most beloved fighters in the UFC. He’s put on war after war after war for us. And he’s one of the nicest human beings in the world. And he’s one of the most exciting fighters, you know? I love the kid.
And talking about Khamzat, what’s his ceiling like on his star power? He’s definitely a unique fighter. Do you put him side to side to the rise of Conor McGregor, to the rise of Ronda Rousey?
Dana White: (15:08)
Yeah. He’s gone that fast. The kid, in Fight Island, remember that day? He said, “I want to fight again next week.” I said, “Okay, let’s do it.” And ever since then, man, he’s been like a rocket ship. I think he’s got three and a half million followers on Instagram. And you saw what happened tonight.
And now we’ve seen the UFC sort of-
Dana White: (15:27)
What have you ever seen somebody with four fights, other than Conor or Ronda?
We’ve seen the UFC starting to go to other cities, Columbus. We saw the London show as well. Now you have the Singapore show booked, what does it feel to be back on the road and be opening up again after the monotony of Las Vegas and Florida and Texas?
Dana White: (15:50)
Yeah. I wouldn’t say there was a monotony of Florida and Texas. Thank God for Florida and Texas. If it wasn’t for Florida and Texas… That’s why I keep coming back here. I told these guys that I would reciprocate for doing what they did during the pandemic. So yeah, I’m excited to get back out on the road and start going to these new places. But yeah, I’m definitely not tired of Florida or Texas.
And last one for me, we saw the featherweight belt on the line, a lot of contenders, obviously, in the division, but a lot of people are wondering what’s going on with Zabit Magomedsharipov. Do you know what’s going on with him? What’s the update? He hasn’t fought in a while and you just haven’t…
Dana White: (16:31)
What’s going on with who?
Dana White: (16:34)
Oh, Zabit? I don’t know what’s going on with Zabit. Yeah. I don’t know the answer to that question.
When’s the last time you talked?
Dana White: (16:41)
I haven’t. I haven’t talked. Yeah. I don’t know what’s going on. The matchmakers would know what’s going on with that. I don’t. I have no idea.
Dana White: (16:50)
Dana, this is the third time you’ve been to Jacksonville, particularly, in Florida. Three very different circumstances, in 2020 it was fan-less, last year was the return back, and this year it seems back to normal. You mentioned specifically about Florida, but Jacksonville, how much of a part of UFC has Jacksonville meant you in these last three years?
Dana White: (17:14)
Jacksonville means a lot to me. That’s why I’ve come back here as many times as I have. I told them that I would. And your mayor here has been incredible. The Governor came here tonight, to the event. He’s been incredible. So yeah, I love this town. I love your politicians and yeah, I’d come back here every weekend.
Be back here in 2023, I assume?
Dana White: (17:40)
Probably. If they call me, I will. All they got to do is call and I’m here.
Obviously, the pandemic has played its part, but it’s been a very long time since Alex Volkanovski’s fought back in Australia.
Dana White: (17:56)
Are there plans in place for the UFC to bring a event down there for Alex to headline this year?
Dana White: (18:03)
… event down there for Alex the headline this year?
Dana White: (18:03)
No, we won’t be there this year. Where are you from?
Dana White: (18:08)
Well, you know what’s going on over there, man, come on. The place is still locked down. I can’t risk trying to bring a show over there, get there and have it shut down. I think that just happened to Formula 1, didn’t it? Didn’t that just happen to Formula 1?
It’s still on, Melbourne.
Dana White: (18:29)
I don’t know. Didn’t they get canceled? Like the cars were on the track and the show got canceled? I don’t know. Huh? It’s happening, they didn’t shut it down? Goes to show you what I know. Yeah, I was hearing yesterday that they shut it down. So I don’t know, hope I answered your question.
Speaker 2: (19:00)
Dana, you spoke about reach around the globe, and you have spoken before regarding going to Puerto Rico, opening a performance center there. We had Tecia Torres fighting tonight, very close fight against Dern. We got Miguel Baeza next week, we got Rob Font and Carlos Candelario later this month, we have the fighters that we can put a show in Puerto Rico. What are your thoughts on that?
Dana White: (19:26)
Yeah, no, Puerto Rico is a place that I would love to go do an event, and yes, a PI too. Yeah, I mean the answer is yes.
Speaker 2: (19:37)
Is there an update with regards on the PI?
Dana White: (19:40)
Well, we’re still looking for a spot in Mexico. We had a spot then COVID hit, so that whole thing fell apart. Then we had another spot recently and that deal fell through somehow. And I think we actually have a new site, do you know? Did we get a new site in Mexico? Yeah, soon.
Speaker 2: (20:04)
But regarding Puerto Rico, do you have a date to open up or start building a PI over there?
Dana White: (20:09)
I don’t even have Mexico yet, that’s what I’m saying.
Speaker 2: (20:12)
So Mexico has to first.?
Dana White: (20:12)
Yeah, Mexico’s first. Yeah.
Speaker 3: (20:16)
Dana, do you still think that Khamzat Chimaev and Colby Covington it’s a good fight for Khamzat as a next fight?
Dana White: (20:22)
Yeah. Khamzat is going to be the number two guy in the world now.
Speaker 3: (20:31)
Maybe below Muhammad or another guy?
Dana White: (20:34)
Speaker 3: (20:35)
Below Muhammad or another guy, is it opened for Khamzat? Yes, below.
Dana White: (20:49)
Sure, I like it.
Speaker 3: (20:51)
Dana White: (20:52)
Speaker 1: (20:53)
Dana, straight down the middle. Are you targeting any other cities in the US right now to go back to for shows?
Dana White: (20:59)
To go back where?
Speaker 1: (21:00)
Are you targeting any US cities for shows?
Dana White: (21:05)
Other US cities? Like?
Speaker 1: (21:09)
Ones you haven’t returned to since the pandemic?
Dana White: (21:12)
What’s the question? Yeah, we’re going to go everywhere. I mean, we’re pretty much back on the road again.
Speaker 1: (21:22)
Yeah, I was asking for specifics. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.
Dana White: (21:25)
Speaker 1: (21:27)
Or cities, or venues you’re looking to go.
Dana White: (21:29)
No, we’re talking about possibly Boston, back to New York again. We’re looking at Austin. That’s Texas though, they don’t want to hear Texas. They want to hear another state. They’re tired of Texas and Florida. Salt Lake City, Utah, that’s right. Seattle, we were looking at.
Speaker 1: (21:55)
Dana White: (21:56)
Speaker 4: (21:57)
Any plans for Mexico?
Dana White: (22:00)
No, we don’t have anything lined up for Mexico. You’re done with me?
Speaker 12: (22:06)
When is Toronto?
Dana White: (22:08)
Speaker 12: (22:09)
When is Toronto?
Dana White: (22:10)
Toronto? Probably, if we end up in Toronto, it’ll be later in the fall, yep. Thanks guys, have a good night.
Speaker 5: (22:29)
Khamzat, congratulations. Obviously, not an easy fight tonight, but a fantastic fight. How are you feeling after a performance like that?
Feels good, that’s the same shit.
Speaker 5: (22:45)
Obviously, you’ve been able to run through everybody. Tonight, you were tested. Were you expecting to have a fight like that tonight?
No, I was too excited to knock him out. I was saying to everybody all week, I’m going to knock him out. I tried to knock him out, that was wrong for me from the beginning, the guy was tough. I didn’t expect that it would be like that. But from first second to last second, I had to try to finish him. Next time, I’m going to work a little bit smarter and yeah, going to smash somebody.
Speaker 5: (23:20)
As far as getting in there tonight, so much attention, so much expectations of you, huge crowd, did it feel any different than your other fights? Any pressure nerves, any different feel?
No, I like that shit. I love my face, blood and sweat and kick somebody, punch somebody, make money. I get 50Gs, I’m happy.
Speaker 5: (23:42)
What was the biggest surprise from him? Was it his power, his durability, his grappling? What was surprising about him to you?
It was not like something surprised from him, but this was wrong for me. The coach told me all the time, slow down and work more technical. I just wanted to take his head off, like I always do, and next time I’m going to work for that.
Speaker 5: (24:10)
Were you concerned at all with the decision that you may have lost or were you confident that you had won two rounds?
I don’t care. You care about that shit? I don’t care, I get my money, I get my 50Gs, going to go home and rest a bit, meet my mom and eat food, going to come back and work hard, kick some ass.
Speaker 5: (24:32)
Does tonight change your opinion at all about how difficult it may be to become champion, like how tough these guys will be at the very top of the division?
I don’t care. You think I’m not tough? I show my heart, I’m tougher than everyone, and I smash them all.
Speaker 5: (24:49)
Last thing from me, Dana had mentioned maybe Colby Covington was the right fight for you next. He wasn’t sure tonight, but what do you think, is Colby Covington the right next fight for you?
I don’t care. I said everybody, I fight everybody. The guys said, oh, he’s number two and Khamzat is number 11, and the fight was like nothing good for Gilbert. Who cares about that shit? We all want to fight each other, make money. We fight for our family, so I don’t care who I fight. I get money, I get my 50Gs, and knock somebody else, I’m happy.
Speaker 6: (25:26)
Khamzat, why do you have your purple belt with you? Did you get this tonight?
It means a lot for me, because my coach worked with him five years, in five years, I meet a lot of guys, and I fight three guys for the house black belts, they could do something on. I took him down and he could submit me, he was thinking if I put him down, I’m going to submit the guy like that. Yeah, I’m happy I get that belt, this means a lot for me, because work hard for that.
Speaker 6: (26:00)
Speaker 6: (26:02)
I saw you with Darren at the beginning of the fight, sitting on the cage, you looked like you were having fun, even though you were in a fight with Darren. How important has he been to your training? Not just as a friend, but to your training as a martial artist, how much has he put into you?
The guy is, he’s like me, when you have one more guy like you, it makes you more comfortable. You have like a best brother and behind your back as well, wherever you go. He said to me a lot of things, like good for me, he [inaudible 00:26:36], he fought for the title, he’s one of the best guy in the world, and I’m happy his with me.
Speaker 6: (26:44)
When you look at your division, do you think Gilbert might be one of the toughest guys for you, and the other guys might not be as tough as Gilbert?
Today, yes. Before, I didn’t get that fight, my first fight like that, I loved it, I was waiting for that long time. I did have 10 fights, 10 finishes, but this fight happen, I bleed and sweat and fight three rounds, people was talking about my condition, but I did fight three rounds.
Speaker 6: (27:12)
Last thing for me, I saw the cuts. How long do you think you’ll take a break or will you try and get a fight as soon as you can? How long do you think you’ll relax for?
I don’t think, when is that? I don’t know actually when it is done, when I come back, I come back. I don’t know, we go back home in Sweden and get some recovery, and train harder. People still talk about that you train wrong, you do this, that, I’m going to train harder than now. I have motivation now because I didn’t finish that guy, I want to finish everybody. And from first, second to last second, I go for the finish, I’m going to do it always.
Speaker 6: (27:52)
Speaker 7: (27:54)
Khamzat, you just said you want to finish all the guys, are you a person who’s going to go home and watch this fight over and over and figure out what you did wrong and why you couldn’t finish him? Or do you already know the mistakes you maybe made tonight?
Yeah, I already know, because wrong for me from the beginning, I tried to knock him out. My coach said to me, starts slowly, work with your jab and feint, but I just go in and just did some crazy shit. And I dropped him and I got more excited, like I’ll try to finish him, I let him up and knocked him out again. I’m going to one more time going to watch my fight, what’s happening there. I don’t care actually about this shit, I’m going to go fight against somebody else.
Speaker 7: (28:42)
It sounds like if this Colby Covington fight does happen, it would be a main event on ABC, five rounds, is that something you look forward to? I mean, I’m sure you’d like to finish him, but potentially [crosstalk 00:28:53]-
I look for everybody of course, if that guy don’t call the cops and if Dana White don’t go to jail, I would be happy to come to the fight and smash his face.
Speaker 7: (29:02)
You think you’d knock him out?
Speaker 7: (29:04)
Speaker 8: (29:06)
Khamzat, one quick one, a video came out on Twitter, it showed you and Gilbert backstage after fight, you were going to check on him while he was getting stitches. What did you tell him back there?
I said to everyone, all that guys, and you see people think I don’t respect the guys. This is a game, like I try to play with his mind and let him make some mistakes. I love this shit, I’ve been watching all the time, all that you see, I try to learn something from everywhere. And I respect all my opponents, everyone does it for his family. And I see before the fight actually, it was a little bit hard to fight him, because I see his kids, they come to me, ah, you fight my daddy. I say shit, fuck, I don’t need that shit. I don’t want to fight with some daddy, I need some killer like me, kill somebody and don’t care about that shit. I go to him, I said, respect brother, and sorry for the punches, and we do that for our family and to have fun as well.
Speaker 9: (30:15)
Khamzat, we just had Dana White and he’s comparing your rise to the likes of Connor McGregor, Ronda Rousey. When you hear that, what does that mean to you, and do you feel like you’re becoming one of the, if not the biggest stars in MMA today?
I don’t know brother, I don’t care. I have my money, I’m going to eat some pizza and drink some Coke, brother, I’m going to go home. Who cares about like famous, not famous, that shit? You have your money brother, you have fun and enjoy your life, brother.
Speaker 9: (30:48)
What’s the toppings of choice? Toppings in the pizza?
Yeah, I don’t know, some chicken and beef, and everything. Smash everything.
Speaker 9: (30:59)
All right, congrats.
Speaker 10: (31:02)
Khamzat, one question for me, I know in the build up to the fight, you talked about how important your mother has been to you and you fight to try to pay her back. Have you had the chance to talk with her tonight, and if so, what did she say to you?
No, because I don’t have internet on my phone, I need to pay for my internet. I have my Swedish card in my phone, I have to change that. I’m going to go to the hotel back and connect to the wifi and call my mom.
Speaker 10: (31:30)
Well, you got 50Gs more to go ahead and pay for that now, right?
I get 50Gs always brother.
Speaker 10: (31:35)
Speaker 11: (31:37)
Speaking of making money, the Smash Brothers NFT project dropped today. How excited are you for that project?
In the beginning, I didn’t know what it is, like it’s a new thing. The guys come to me, Dana explained to me that this is future and then showed how this works. I’m not that guy, sitting under some phone and I make money and sit some place and make money, I want to do something, like jump somewhere and kick somebody and make money. Yeah, he explained to me that it’s good money, it’s a good future, and it’s a smart way to make money. I’m excited for that, work for that. That’s good, that’s good for everybody.
Speaker 3: (32:33)
Khamzat, [Russian 00:32:33]?
Speaker 3: (33:05)
Speaker 3: (33:36)
Speaker 3: (34:10)
[Russian 00:34:12]. Thank you guys.
Speaker 5: (34:40)
Undisputed champion, congratulations. I guess just knowing the journey that it was to get from the original fight to here and everything you went through, what’s the emotions like for you right now?
Aljamain Sterling: (34:52)
Roller coaster. It’s been a long, long, 13 months, and I think I expressed that a lot during the fight week. Truly blessed to be back here, I’m just glad I came out on the right side of that decision. I don’t know what the heck that one judge was thinking. But great fight, big night, I got my friends, my family, my teammates, my fiancee, my mom, just overwhelmed with the emotion man. This has just been a dream come true, something I envisioned for a very long time, since I first set sight on this sport, and baby we did it! We did it, we did it the way I wanted to do it, and this time remove all doubt, show that last one was not anything even close to what I’m capable of doing. And for the people who questioned my skills, who’s laughing now? How about those clown emojis now?
Speaker 5: (35:44)
I was going to ask you, you talked about obviously surgical repair and changing everything, I guess getting in there tonight, how much different did you feel? Did you perform the way that you thought you would, based on the training camp and everything?
Aljamain Sterling: (36:01)
I felt like that was still-
Aljamain Sterling: (36:02)
I felt like there was still a lack luster performance on my end, and I just hold myself to a really high standard. And I know I’m capable of a lot more than that. Giving up that fourth round the way I did and giving up the back control when I had the hooks in and kind of just jumped the gun, a little sloppy. That should have been a three round, four round sweep. And Yan is a tough dude. He made some adjustments. He capitalized on my mistakes where I made them, and that’s really what it is, is this is a game of inches. We’re at the top of the sport. Anyone could be anybody on any given day. For the odds makers to have me that big of an underdog, you made Long Island very, very, very, very, very rich, so thank you for that one. I never had a doubt with myself and I think people could see how I came into this octagon tonight, that I was feeling myself and ready to go. And the old Funk Master is back, and next time I’m going to get a finish, man, because I really thought I was going to get him out of there.
Speaker 5: (37:04)
You say next time. I was going to ask … I mean Dana was here earlier and he said, “We don’t need to do it right away. It’ll be there at some point,” but do you feel like it’s inevitable that you face Yan again at some point ?
Aljamain Sterling: (37:12)
A hundred percent. If he wants to go 0-3 against me, he could do that.
Speaker 5: (37:16)
Last thing from me, Dana said the Dillashaw fight was the one that made the most sense. I guess why is that one that intrigues you the most, and how soon do you want to do it? Do you feel like you need to make up for lost time? Do you want to take some time away to enjoy yourself? What do you think?
Aljamain Sterling: (37:30)
13 long months, I think I earned a little bit of a break. Starting a training camp, stopping a training camp, I kind of want to pursue my acting career a little bit further. 50 Cent, if you’re out there, Power universe, put me in. I would like a long term role, maybe Power book two. But yeah, I think I’m going to take off three, four weeks, kind of just take a vacation with the lady when she finishes up her final semester in nursing school. We deserve a little bit of a break. She’s been working really, really hard and I’m proud of her. So this has been a big month. We haven’t really gotten a chance to hang out with each other because she’s been focused, I’ve been dialed in, and here we are. First is me, she’s up next. And then we got a couple other guys on the horizon. They’re going to be in the contender series soon. And we got a lot of good guys coming out of this gym. And you guys have yet to see the best out of the Serra-Longo Fight Team. So I’m excited. And of course you got the machine, the Moab.
Speaker 13: (38:30)
[inaudible 00:38:30] right here. Is it personal at all with you and TJ? I mean he’s been one of your bigger critics since the first fight with [inaudible 00:38:38].
Aljamain Sterling: (38:38)
Speaker 13: (38:40)
Yeah. Can you elaborate a little bit?
Aljamain Sterling: (38:41)
No, I was just saying oh yeah, he’s been a big critic. The guy’s just been nonstop talking about me, talking about my heart, and this, that, the spirit of a fighter. I mean the spirit of a fighter is someone who’s never going to give up, if you ask me. And I think I showed that this time. I think I showed that even in my worst night, which was my first performance against Yan, and that was a shell of myself and he couldn’t get me out of there that night and he wasn’t going to get me out of here this night either. So I think I showed what I’m capable of and what my mental fortitude is, where it’s at. You’re going to need a lot more than that to break me and make me quit in there. So I don’t know if that’s what he’s thinking. I don’t know if anyone’s mentally weak as that guy. The guy needed steroids and EPO to catapult his career to even win as many fights as he did in the UFC. So his whole UFC tenure is tainted. So I can’t wait to punch him in the face. That would be somebody I would enjoy punching. He’s got good skill, but the guy’s a cheat, he’s dirty, and I like an opportunity to slap him up and we can figure out who’s number one again.
Speaker 13: (39:45)
Do you have extra confidence about that style match up now? I think you could make an argument that he has some similarities to [inaudible 00:39:53].
Aljamain Sterling: (39:54)
I think so. He wants to stand in trade the whole time, and I think anyone realizes I can stand end up in strike, but I don’t need to. It’s kind of a silly game to do that the whole time if I have an expertise and I’m so much better in another area over my opponents. So if I can exploit that, why not? If I can level change and have you respecting the take down instead of just trading punches with you, I’m going to do that. So it’s an interesting fight. I think it’d be a fun fight. The fans are going to have a good time watching that one. And I think he’s a little small for the weight and I think I get on his back like that. I think that guy gets out of there, you know what I mean? So I drop those shots on TJ’s little head … I got a little head too. I dropped those shots on TJ’s little head though, I don’t think he’s taking it the way Yan did tonight in that second round. I really thought I was going to get a finish. So I do that to TJ, I think I get a finish and stop that fight.
Speaker 13: (40:51)
And last thing from me, I’m just curious how you felt about tonight after you got your hand raised. This is obviously one of the greatest moments of your life and the crowd is just booing the hell out of you. What’s that like? What kind of emotions do you have in that moment?
Aljamain Sterling: (41:07)
I take it all in. It is what it is. People are going to hate you for whatever reasons that don’t make sense and it’s fine. I get it. You’re entitled to your own opinion, but my resume speaks for itself. I didn’t get any handouts to get to this position in my a career. I fought the best guys when they were the best guys in the weight. I’ve been in the top five and top 10 since my third UFC fight. And I think that speaks volumes on my tenacity and being able to persevere through my ups and downs. There’s a lot more ass out there to whoop. There’s Cruz, there’s Aldo, there’s TJ. People can say whatever they want. Boo me, cheer me, I’m going to turn that around and use as energy to give me momentum in the fight. And that’s the best way I could look at it. Life is going to give you adversity anytime, your career, work, relationships. It’s what you do with it and how you spin that to make it work for you. You can sit there, tuck your tail, and cry about it. “Oh, they don’t like me.” I don’t give a shit. I’m still going to get up, I’m going to be me, I’m going to do me, and I’m going to continue to live my life the way I want to live my life.
Speaker 14: (42:12)
[inaudible 00:42:12] in the front right here. Henry Cejudo also tweeted that he was getting back in the testing pool today after the –
Aljamain Sterling: (42:18)
Speaker 14: (42:20)
Is that a fight you would want too, if he drops to 135, again?
Aljamain Sterling: (42:23)
I would love that. I think Henry’s a tough competitor. He’s a gamer. When the tough gets going, the same thing, he has that grit. He’ll bite down on his mouthpiece and he’ll throw some leather. And I feel like that would be the toughest match up for me because he’s actually a really good wrestler. So we would have to figure it out on the feet. And I think my length would be a problem for him because I’d be able to spam those front kicks right up the middle all night, but if the Muppet want to come back and CCC wants to get demoted to CC, then we could do that. So Henry Cejudo, get back in that pool and we can talk.
Speaker 15: (42:59)
Aljamain, over here. It’s been a very fun build throughout this week. And you asked people the question and you asked the fans and those who doubted you, “What are you going to do when I’m sitting up at that table with the title?” What do you say to those people now, those people who doubted you? You said a lot in the octagon, but I’m curious who you have to say to them now.
Aljamain Sterling: (43:21)
I got to find all the comments and troll them back and just start being super petty if I have the time for it. I got receipts, man, people who wrote me off for one bad performance. And again, one bad performance doesn’t define you for the rest of your life. And just like anything else in life, it shouldn’t define you for the rest of your life. So I love this sport because it teaches you so much about life. This is literally you versus you, you going out there improving, becoming the best version of yourself and taking things that come, and either it’s going to be a good night or it’s going to be a bad night in the office.
Aljamain Sterling: (43:58)
And fortunately for me, tonight was a good night. We put the work in, and the critics, they can sit on their behind and be the thumb pushers as much as they want. I know some people are still going to be doubting me and talking shit. It is what it is. You said I didn’t earn the belt. You said I was a fake champ. Now what are you going to say? Belt’s right here. And for people, please don’t call me champ, just call me Aljo. I’m a blue collar guy. That’s all I want to be known as, Aljo. I don’t need to have people say, “Oh, champ, champ, champ.” The last thing I want to do is get my head big, and that’s not who I am. So Aljo, Aljamain, or the Funk Master.
Speaker 15: (44:35)
Yeah, because a lot of people on social media have been saying, “If there’s anybody who deserves to go on a victory tour and a victory lap and say everything he’s got to say to everybody, it’s you,” but you’re a pretty humble guy, Aljo. I know there’s a part of you that just wants to go out and just blast everybody, but there’s probably a part of you as well that wants to just get right back into the gym and get ready for the next fight. So how do you sort of balance that out?
Aljamain Sterling: (44:55)
Well, I had a long 13 months and I’m going to take at least four weeks off and just hang out, enjoy life, be a normal everyday pedestrian and just kick it up, kick my feet up and relax, hang out with the friends, coach a little bit with the team and stuff like that, travel a little bit. COVID took a lot of that away from us. So things are finally starting to get back to normal, the way they should have been. And I’m just happy to be in this position where it’s a little bit sweeter to go on vacation with a win as opposed to a loss. And I’m a troll myself. I like to have a little fun. People think, “Oh, they’re getting under my skin.” Dude, you’re not getting under shit. This is what we do in Long Island. We break each other’s balls, we talk shit and we just have a good time. That’s just how we are. And you got to have thick skin to hang out with our crew. So there’s going to be some people that I got receipts for that I need to rub it in their faces, so I’ll do that.
Speaker 15: (45:52)
And then last thing for me, you mentioned how Long Island is richer today because you were the big underdog. You were surprised that you were the big underdog. Are you a little bit richer? Because you believed in yourself, did you believe in yourself from a piggy bank perspective?
Aljamain Sterling: (46:09)
I can’t say that. I can’t say that. I’m richer because I finally got some pay-per-view points. I do think all fighters that a fight on a pay-per-view should get pay-per-view points though. That’s just my personal opinion, because we all make up the card, but I’m glad [inaudible 00:46:25] got pay-per-view points as well as the interim champion. And I think that’s fair. He’s a big name and this was a highly anticipated fight and people tune in a lot for this. So I’m just glad I got paid on that front and just going to keep adding to the checks and take care of my mom, take care of my family, and that’s really it.
Speaker 9: (46:45)
Aljamain, it seems you like being the heel in this situation. Do you almost prefer than being sort of the baby face and having the crowd behind you?
Aljamain Sterling: (46:55)
Yes and no, because being the heel you got to really work. You got to actually put time in. You got to be like Kobe, you got to be like [inaudible 00:47:04]. It’s a little bit of work and I don’t have the energy to do that all the time. I like just being me. I want to have fun when I want to have fun. I want to be serious when I want to be serious. So just let me just do my thing. And if you like me, you like me. If you don’t, there’s other flavors for you to go mingle with, fighters that you might like and that type of thing. So I ain’t never going to change. I’m going to be the same guy, with or without the belt. So my real friends and family, as long as they know that about me, that’s all that matters because everything else is just noise.
Speaker 9: (47:34)
Yeah. And the fight was fun to watch, but something else that was a lot of fun to keep an eye on was the corner work. Great quotes, they were just hyping you up. I mean, “Go stare at him,” [inaudible 00:47:45] was yelling at you. Can you talk about how important that was in between rounds? Because I mean, we saw how it brought up your energy and it really made a difference in the fight.
Aljamain Sterling: (47:55)
Yeah, it was big. And I do think I fought relatively sloppy in that fourth and fifth round, which is the ones that he clearly won, but having these guys, being able to hear them in the corner, and just having guys that you trust, it means a lot, because these guys have been in the trenches with me, and that’s the most important. And there’s no value you could place on that. And at the end of the day, this is my team, this is my squad. These are going to be my people. And the corner, it is what it is. I’m relatively adaptable with anyone in terms cornermen type of thing, but to have people that you trust and you’re very familiar with, it’s always going to be a much better thing to have.
Speaker 9: (48:41)
Yeah. Last question. The first title of defense is officially in the books. What goals do you have as a champion? Is there any specific cities where you’d like to headline or any specific names that you’d like to get into the division? Any specific goals that you have now as champion?
Aljamain Sterling: (48:58)
UFC Jamaica would be amazing to have. Now people can’t say, “Oh, you’re a fake Jamaican champ.” No, first generation Jamaican champion. Let’s do it, Dana. You got Leon Edwards, you got a bunch of other young brothers out there too, Ode Osborne. There’s a couple other guy I’m forgetting, Randy Brown and a few others. I think we could make a really, really amazing fight card, Uriah hall. So I think just expanding markets. I think this is going to be a much more notable win for Jamaica to really start to realize, ” Hey, we got something here. We are a very, very talented country. We’re a small place.” [foreign language 00:49:34]. So it would be a nice, cool thing to have, but outside of that, I don’t know. I haven’t really given that any thought. I just want to hang out, have a few drinks, and chill with the family.
Speaker 9: (49:55)
Congrats on the win.
Aljamain Sterling: (49:56)
Speaker 16: (49:57)
Aljo, you looked to be in your best form as far as your performance goes tonight. Regardless of what fans or critics may say, after the layoff and all things combined going into it, how much of a sense of personal fulfillment and vindication do you have?
Aljamain Sterling: (50:11)
For me, this was everything. And again, win or lose, I was going to take a vacation, just decompress. This sport can take a lot out of you, especially when it’s all you’re thinking about, all you’re doing, but to go out with the win makes it that much sweeter. And for everyone saying all the stuff that they’re saying, it for me just rolls off my back. It’s just motivation at the end of the day, you can say whatever you want behind you keyboards, talking shit. I’m the one out here actually chasing the dream. And I think anyone who’s got that type of ambition would never, ever hate or throw dirt on anybody’s name because they understand what it takes to get to even just challenger for a world title. That’s not easy to do. How many people get into this sport? How many people get cut from the UFC after two fights? I’ve been with this company for a very, very long time and I earned my keep. And I think that speaks for itself. So you don’t got to like me, but you got to respect me.
Speaker 16: (51:09)
The man in the arena concept, right?
Aljamain Sterling: (51:10)
Speaker 16: (51:12)
Thank you, sir.
Aljamain Sterling: (51:13)
Thank you. I look pretty tonight.
Speaker 5: (51:16)
I’m not sure we’ve ever had walk-in music for a post fight press conference. It’s revolutionizing the game.
Alexander Volkanovski: (51:49)
Speaker 5: (51:49)
Well Alex, I mean clearly one of your greatest performances ever. I mean dominant from start to finish. So I’m just curious, I’m sure the emotions are good right now, but what is your feeling about your performance tonight?
Alexander Volkanovski: (51:59)
Yeah man, it was good. I said that’s what I was going to do. I’m showing everyone, I tell everyone. I told you all week that I’m going to show them on another level. I’m raising the bar each time and you’ve seen that. You know what I mean? You’ve seen that a lot of these guys can’t touch me. So I don’t think anyone’s ever done that to Zombie, not like that. So it just shows you that I am on another level. And again, next time I get in there, I’m going to be better again.
Speaker 5: (52:23)
He did show a little bit of a spark in the third round after you dominated the first two. Did it surprise you that he came out gunning like that in the third?
Alexander Volkanovski: (52:31)
I can’t really remember. Got to watch back, you know what I mean? I don’t think I ever … I felt like he maybe come forward more. He was looking for the shots, but again, you got to remember I’m a calculated fighter. It might have looked like he had me on the back foot, but that was because I know he was eager, he was desperate. So I’m going to let him do his thing. Again, he’s dangerous. I’m going to give him that respect. I calculate, I listened to the corner. They wanted me to keep my range and pick your shots. And I thought I could have followed through earlier, but they were telling me, “No, wait, wait, wait.” And as soon as they told me to pour it on, it was later in the third, I started doing that and we almost got it. And then obviously in the fourth when knew what was up because they said, “Follow up, get the finish.” And we did.
Alexander Volkanovski: (53:07)
So I listened to the corner. That’s it. We’re levels ahead and you’ve seen it. Not only my game is levels ahead, but the team behind me that we have, look at the work we’re doing, you know what I mean? No one’s ever done that to Zombie and made him miss that much. And man, he’s fucking tough. I’ll give you that. But I mean, yeah, [inaudible 00:53:27]. I’ve got to watch it back. I obviously haven’t seen it, but we got the bonus, so that’s cool.
Speaker 5: (53:30)
Not your place to stop it by any stretch, but did you think it should have been stopped before he came out for the fourth?
Alexander Volkanovski: (53:34)
I wanted it stopped. I wanted it stopped after the third. Almost started feeling bad, but as we keep saying every interview, I go, “This is the fucking game. You can’t feel bad, but I guess that’s my nature. But that’s what I said I think in the fourth. We started and I go, “You all right, brother? You want to keep doing this, man? I don’t want to keep doing this to you,” but because obviously the boys are telling me we’re pouring it on. And I was like, “Please just stop before I do this,” but I had to do it.
Alexander Volkanovski: (54:03)
Stop before I do this. But I had to do it. So the ref, I think Herb knew, he was looking for as soon as he eats a couple, I’m going to stop it. And that’s exactly what he did. So I’m glad he did it, because I want him going home healthy to his family.
Speaker 5: (54:13)
I know you said coming into this, you feel like the UFC will probably look to book Holloway again. Is that the fight that you most want? Or are there other things that appeal to you?
Alexander Volkanovski: (54:22)
Oh, man, it just depends. Whatever it is, you know what I mean? Again, as we talked about all week, you know, I was saying that’s the fight that I wanted purely to… For the haters, and all that type of stuff. But I mean, I don’t even know the case. That fight was scheduled, but I don’t know if it really was scheduled. I don’t know it, you know what I mean? I don’t even know if he actually wanted it. So we’re going to sit back, talk to the team. Obviously I want the biggest fights. And he showed that that’s probably going to be the biggest fight, so we’ll talk to the team, we’ll see if he wants it, we’ll see if we want it, if the team wants it, if the UFC want it, and then we’ll make that decision.
Alexander Volkanovski: (54:56)
Again, I’m going to make the right decision for the right reasons, you know what I mean? I’m in a position where I can do a couple of things. And if this division don’t want to sort itself out and they’re all going to sit back and just fucking wait for shit, then fine, I’ll move up and fight lightweight. Again, I’m an easy champ to understand, take that number one spot, you get that shot. If not, let’s move up. I think we’re in a good position to maybe move up, see what happens in this lightweight division title fight and maybe move up. Because again, I’m showing I’m levels ahead in this division. Maybe we move up.
Speaker 5: (55:25)
Have you given a lot of thought to that? I mean, do you know how your game would perform at 155? Would you want to pack a lot of weight on and stay there, or go back and forth?
Alexander Volkanovski: (55:32)
No, I mean, I don’t think I need to. I’m pretty strong for the featherweight division. I’m strong for a lightweight division too. Most of my training partners are lightweights, and welterweights, and things like that anyway. So I fought at middleweight. People forget. We talk about pound-for-pound, you got to remember, I’m undefeated middleweight. My only loss is at welterweight. I’m undefeated in every other division, you know what I mean? So look what I’m doing to some of these guys, and I fought at all different weights. We talk about pound-for-pound, you know what I mean? It’s there. I’m showing you what I can do. And again, I’m owning that crown, man, honestly. So from now on, [inaudible 00:56:11] Volk, as I said last fucking time I talked to you guys [inaudible 00:56:14] Volk is coming for fucking everyone. So lightweight division, watch out.
Speaker 5: (56:17)
All right. I guess, last thing for me, I mean, you said coming in, you want this to be a very busy year, I mean, three more fights. When you do you think you’d want them? I mean, how quick do you need to turn this around? Do you want some time off, or are you like, “Let’s get something booked ASAP.”?
Alexander Volkanovski: (56:30)
Let’s get something booked. But again, it’s got to be the right fight as well. I don’t want to just fight. The only reason why this fight happened, again, I want number one contenders. I made that clear time and time again. But there as a fight scheduled, it didn’t happen, so we got a replacement. But I mean, I’m not just going to give guys that aren’t earning that number one spot just a shot for the sake of it. I’ll talk to my team, I’ll see what they want to do. Again, I’m in a position where I’m going to be clever. I’m the type of guy that I always, just, you know what I mean? Give me fucking everyone. Always the hardest fight, that’s the type I am. Give me a heavyweight. Whatever it fucking is, give it to me.
Alexander Volkanovski: (57:03)
But yeah, I’ll talk to the team, see what they want. And again, make the right decisions for the right reasons. If we think this fight is going to be the biggest draw, biggest money, it’s the fight to make, then we’ll make it happen. And if that is Holloway, it’ll be Holloway. If that is the next guy that if we get contenders fight and they take that number one spot, you know what I mean, then it’ll be them. But or if it’s a lightweight, the team says that, UFC is happy with that, we do that. Again, make the decision for the right reasons.
Speaker 17: (57:27)
Alex, down here. You mentioned that you try and get into every fight a little bit better than the last one. I’m curious, after a performance like that, how high do you see your ceiling? How much better can you get from where you are today?
Alexander Volkanovski: (57:37)
I’m just going to keep getting better, man. I can’t tell you where that ends. But I guarantee you, I’m going to keep improving. Next time you see me, I guarantee you I’m going to be a level ahead. Again, I keep raising the bar. That’s what I expect. I know I’m levels ahead of these guys, but the best always want to improve themselves. They don’t want to be better than the other guys, you know what I mean? That’s not good enough. Just being better than the other guys isn’t good enough. I want to be better than I was last month, you know what I mean? Last week. Each week, I got that drive to be better. And I can be better in so many… This is mixed martial arts, hardest sport in the world, so many things that come… You know what I mean? There’s everything, wrestling, grappling, striking, and cardio, you name it, mental side of things, everything. You know what I mean? You can be better. So I’m going to keep doing that, keep raising the bar, and when I stop raising that bar, that’s when we start looking at, all right, what do we do from here?
Speaker 17: (58:30)
You mentioned about pound-for-pound, I was curious, I’ve actually asked Dana about it as well when he was in here, do you think it’s between you and Usman, or do you think actually that you are the top and people maybe need to recognize that?
Alexander Volkanovski: (58:39)
That ain’t up to me. I’m not going to sit there and say that stuff. Obviously he’s done great things, but again, just remember, I’m fighting guys in different divisions, I’m undefeated in middleweight. I mean, I’m a fucking featherweight, man, I’m a small featherweight. I look smaller than all these guys, and I’m undefeated in middleweight. You know what I mean? I’ve obviously had that one loss in welterweight. I’ve had plenty of wins in welterweight, undefeated lightweight, undefeated featherweight. And look what I’m doing to the UFC, I’m 11-0 in the UFC, taken… Look at the guys I’ve fought too, I’m fighting legends of this sport, legends of this sport. So, man, it’s saying something. But I leave that up to everyone. I’m not going to toot my own horn and say I deserve this, I deserve that, you know what I mean? There’s great fighters in the UFC.
Alexander Volkanovski: (59:21)
But I’ll leave that up to everyone else. But that respect is going to be coming, I guarantee it. But and if not, who gives a fuck? I’m over trying to please everyone. That ain’t me anymore. I’m happy with my family, and my friends, and all of that. That’s all that I care about. If people want to jump on the band wagon, the train, welcome on, I love yous too, and whatever. But I mean, I ain’t going to try and impress people that don’t want to be impressed. So fuck them.
Speaker 17: (59:47)
I feel like this happens every time you fight, but Henry Cejudo has Tweeted that he’s going to be getting back in the pool, presumably for a fight with you. Any interest? I know you just said that you want the biggest fights, he does have a name value, he is a former champion.
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:00:01)
He does have a name value. So well, again, there’s options. Again, if this division don’t want to sort themselves out, you’re going to get… That’s shit you might see. I’ve always said I don’t want to do it. But if these guys are going to sit back and expecting a title shot given to the while they’re waiting, not taking that number one spot, fuck them. Fine, I will fight other guys. I never used to be like that, but now I’m like, “No, that’s not how shit should be.”
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:00:23)
If you remember what I was doing when I was chasing that title fight, you know what I mean? I was doing everything, everything I could, fighting the toughest guys in their hometowns, and doing shit that no one would do just so no one could take that number one spot from me. No one is fucking doing that. And that sort of pisses me off.
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:00:42)
So if they don’t deserve it, fine, I’ll give it to people that probably still don’t deserve it, but at the same time, if you miss out, that’s on fucking you, not me, you know what I mean? I ain’t going to feel bad. I don’t care what people say, “They don’t deserve it?” Neither does everyone fucking else, so get over it.
Speaker 18: (01:00:58)
Alex, right here.
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:01:04)
Speaker 18: (01:01:05)
You mentioned it, 11-0 in the UFC. I think you’re only the 4th or 5th fighter to do that mark, and the big shiny record is that 16-0 start Anderson Silva had, which is the longest one. Is that something you’ve ever thought about, how far you can push this? And do you think you can ultimately break that record?
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:01:24)
It’s not something I’m looking at. I didn’t even know that record, I’ll be honest. But yeah, 100%. I feel like I’m having three fights this year. I want another two fights this year. So in two years, I can definitely do that. And again, I’m not sitting there going, “Oh, I’m going to take all their statuses.” And all that. But I mean, that’s what I do want. I’m pretty confident it’s going to happen, because I believe in my team, and my abilities, and again, my drive to be better. You know what I mean? I don’t think anyone has a drive, and that mentality that I have. You look at the greats in any sport of the world, they’re doing whatever they can do to be better. Not be better than the person in front of them, not be better than the other guy, just doing enough, that’s not good enough. Be better. You can do that in anything in life, be better. Be better everywhere. And I believe that I’m a good example of that.
Speaker 18: (01:02:14)
And when Dana was here earlier, he got asked about a potential fight in Australia this year, and he more or less ruled it out. But he did say Toronto could be on the schedule, and that’s kind of a second home to Max Holloway. Would you be willing to fight him there, or do you feel like if you’re going to do this third fight it needs to be [crosstalk 01:02:31].
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:02:31)
He ruled out Australia?
Speaker 18: (01:02:32)
Yeah. He said it’s probably not going to happen this year.
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:02:36)
We’ll talk about that. I don’t know. Obviously I want to defend my belt in Australia, you know what I mean? Obviously things are getting good back home, I think they could get over the line. I’ve fought that many times on everyone else’s… Again, I love fighting. But at the same time, let me defend my belt in Australia. I think I deserve that. And we’ve got title fights, we’ve got big fights, boxing fights, everything happening in Australia, why can’t the UFC be there? You know what I mean? I know Dana, he’s a clever man, he wants to take over everywhere. There’s big boxing events and that over there. He wants to take it, we can go over there and let’s try and make it bigger, you know what I mean? You know, I know what he’s like. So maybe we’ll have a talk and see what we can do. But I definitely want something in Australia. I think I deserve it, and I think it would benefit him 100%, because we’ll sell out a stadium over there, no doubt.
Speaker 18: (01:03:27)
Yeah, so no interest in doing it in Max’s territory to a degree, right?
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:03:31)
I have troubles getting into Canada. So I’ll leave it at that.
Speaker 18: (01:03:35)
I’m Canadian, maybe I can help you out, talk to [inaudible 01:03:37].
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:03:37)
Speaker 18: (01:03:37)
I say, I’m Canadian, maybe I can help you out, we’ll talk after.
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:03:40)
Oh, okay. All right.
Speaker 19: (01:03:41)
Alex, over here. Right back here.
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:03:43)
Oh, yeah, there you go.
Speaker 19: (01:03:45)
How do you grade a performance like that? Because I know when I talk to fighters, you guys are the most critical, self critical people that you’d ever speak with. So is this an A, is this an A plus? Because this was… I mean, I’m sure you can find some holes, some mistakes perhaps, but this is about as perfect of a title defense as you’ll see.
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:04:04)
Oh, yeah, you’re right, we are our hardest critic, I am, my team is as well. I haven’t watched back the tape, so I don’t know. I felt very comfortable in there. But I don’t think I got hit much, but I still got hit. So I’m not happy with that.
Speaker 19: (01:04:18)
And you talked about the way you came up, how you just, whatever the UFC wanted, you slowly made your way up the ladder. But along the way, not only… You still have that humbleness to you, your drive, your hard work, you got a little swag to you now, it’s pretty clear. You got a little bit of swagger to you.
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:04:36)
Oh, you like that?
Speaker 19: (01:04:37)
Can you tell me where that stems from? Where that turned for you? You always had confidence, but I feel like there’s just that little bit of-
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:04:45)
I just want to be myself. You know what I mean? I was the type of guy, just speak my mind, I think… Again, I was so worried about what people thought. I would sit there, and I will have a chat, and then again, I’m the fucking champ. Why can’t I say that? I would feel bad for saying that, I feel like [inaudible 01:05:00] stop tooting your own horn, you know what I mean? No, own the crown that you’re fucking… You got the crown, fucking own it, you know what I mean? That’s just me. I’m just being me.
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:05:11)
Mate, I guarantee you, any of you guys, you see me outside of the octagon, whatever, I’m going to be one of the friendliest guys you’ll ever meet, and I’m proud of that. But at the same time, I’m a cool dude, I’m a fun dude, and I’m just going to be myself. And that’s wat you’re seeing, you’re just seeing me be myself and not being sort sheltered where I was so worried, you know what I mean? I wanted to please everyone. I’m a people pleaser. But I mean, again, the people that are going to not like me, they’re just looking for shit to hate on, they’re just going to be haters. So why should I try and please them? Why should I hold back on being me too please people that are going to hate me no matter what anyway?
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:05:43)
So now I’m just like, “Fuck it. Fuck them.” You know what I mean? Again, they’ll jump on board. I haven’t don’t nothing wrong. If they get offended by something I say, they’re really reaching, they’re really looking for something to be offended by, because that’s not… I’m not that type of guy.
Speaker 19: (01:05:57)
It’s always great to be the best you’ve ever been when you get into the octagon and get on this run that you’re on. But would you say this is the freest that you’ve been, building on top of the last question?
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:06:07)
100%. I mean, I don’t really care what I say right now. Where before, I would so worried, what if I say the wrong thing? If I say the wrong thing to you guys and someone gets offended, oh, I’ll get it better next time, spew them, whatever, move on. You know what I mean? That’s where I’m at right now. Where before, I’ll be like, I’ll do my head in because I said something, you know what I mean? Now I’m like, I just got the freedom, inside and outside the octagon. You’ve seen it. You’ve seen it all week, you’re seeing it now again.
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:06:31)
I’m just going to be me, and again, people are going to jump on board. They’re already jumping on board, and I’m going for them goat status, the pound-for-pound statuses, all of them. And I think everyone can see that now, you know what I mean? So again, I’m not the type to toot my own horn, but the proof is fucking there. You just look and you’ll see it.
Speaker 19: (01:06:52)
Volk, you gave credit to your team and your training partners. How important is it to you for the long term and the sustained success that you’ve had to have elite world class specialists like Craig Jones in your corner?
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:07:04)
Man, it’s just the whole team we have, man, even from training partners, to head coaches, to grappling coaches, we just cover all areas, strength and conditioning coaches back home, physios, you name it, all of it. Again, I want to be better, I have that drive to be better everywhere. This is mixed martial arts, you can be better everywhere. Yeah, I’m blended and I do it all, I put it together better than anyone, I truly do believe that. That’s what I say, when you go there, you’re going to see greatness, you’re going to see one of the best mixed martial artists you’ve ever seen out there. And I’m showing that. One of the greatest athletes you’ll ever see. Not many people work as hard as I do. And again, I ain’t no athletically gifted person. But you had that drive to be better, this is the shit you can accomplish.
Speaker 19: (01:07:46)
Thank you, champ
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:07:47)
Speaker 9: (01:07:47)
Just two quick ones out here.
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:07:49)
Speaker 9: (01:07:50)
You speed looked quite improved in this one. I mean, you looked very, very fast. You also looked slimmer. I’m wondering, is that the case? Did you slim down for this fight?
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:08:01)
I didn’t try and slim down. The weight was all the same. I tried to make sure I didn’t eat as much. I don’t like being heavy. There’s been times where I ate real heavy and I was a lot heavier than I’d like to be. Where now I… Last night I remember seeing the scale, I was like, “I’m not happy with that.” So I even sweated a little bit last night. I wanted to get some of that water off, because I want to be light in there. I feel best at 74 kilograms. And yeah, man, I don’t know if I looked fast. I mean, again, that’s just the shit we’re doing in the gym, the strength and conditioning, the training we’re doing. Again, we’re going to be better. Next time you’re going to see me faster. Next time you’re going to see me stronger. Next time you’re going to see me capitalize on more shit. You know what I mean? That’s my goal, be better every single time.
Speaker 9: (01:08:43)
Yeah. And you had mentioned pre fight how you wanted to fight Korean Zombie because he’s a legend, you respected him, and you wanted that name on your resume. He seemed pretty bummed obviously with the result, even mentioned that he maybe even retire, he’ll have to think about it. What does Korean Zombie mean to you, being a fan of his and what he’s done in the division? Obviously a legend. And any words on him?
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:09:04)
Look, man, I’ve got a lot of respect for the guy, that’s why he got the shot. He’s done great things in this sport. He’s a legend of this sport, that’s why he got this shot, he’s still at the top of his game. You know what I mean? That’s why he got it. And he has said some things before, he has been like… Well, his social media, it’s probably his management and shit like that. I know he’s not like that though. We all know what he’s like. He apologized for it. That’s the type of guy he is. He’s a very respectful, he’s a good dude. So again, even though they had said some shit, that’s why we didn’t have no bad blood, because I know that wasn’t really him. He’s a cool dude, and that’s why I want him to go home healthy to his family. I don’t want him to take this too much to the heart, because again, I’m levels ahead of a lot of these guys. He can go out there and still be right at the top. But just not when you’re standing in front of me.
Speaker 9: (01:09:48)
One quick one, I don’t know if you’re aware, but tonight they were doing the fan bonus with Bitcoin. You actually got one of them, you got the $20,000 in Bitcoin.
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:09:55)
Ooh. More money.
Speaker 9: (01:09:57)
From fan voting. So-
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:09:58)
Fuck, don’t tell my missus that, she already wants a Cartier bracelet because I got the bonus. So that means I got it?
Speaker 9: (01:10:04)
Yeah, you got the [inaudible 01:10:04].
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:10:04)
So I get $20,000 on top of that as well? All right, cool.
Speaker 9: (01:10:12)
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:10:12)
Oh, in Bitcoin. All right. Sweet. I’ll take it.
Speaker 5: (01:10:17)
Alex, real quick, we just were informed that The Rock sent you a cheat meal and is talking about you on Instagram right now.
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:10:23)
Oh, is he?
Speaker 5: (01:10:23)
Alexander Volkanovski: (01:10:25)
Oh, nice. Yeah, he’s the man. Yeah, he done The Rock toast. He sent us The Rock toast, a whole box of it. I shared the video. Yeah, go have a look, I actually did a little… Oh, he shared mine. I tagged him, yeah. I wanted to collab. I invited him. He did? Yeah, what a legend. See. So I was hoping that would happen. He waited until I won, see. He was like, “Yeah, just in case he loses, I’ll wait.” You got to do your fucking business, then you can eat. You earn that fucking share. So I appreciate it, The Rock. No, yeah, honestly, that was really, really good. I told you, man, the bald men are taking over this fucking world.