Alexander Volkanovski Will Take A Break – Will He Retire?

March 2, 2024
3 months
Alexander Volkanovski Will Take A Break - Will He Retire?

Alexander Volkanovski, the former UFC Featherweight Champion, will take some time off after losing his belt against Ilia Topuria at UFC 298. 

Volk was stopped in the second round, the first time at featherweight. The defeat was also his second successive knockout loss after getting stopped in the first round against Islam Makhachev at UFC 294 last year. The Topuria loss ended his four-year reign as a champion. The Australian is among the most active MMA stars, competing in seven title fights within the last 30 months. But at 35, the former featherweight champion is taking some time off to regroup. 

Volkanovski’s Comments

“I’m gonna let the head rest so the training’s gonna be clever, especially for a couple of months. It’s good. That’s what I’ve been able to do this week. I’ve felt great. Depending on what Ilia does, if he was to want to be very active and fight soon, which would mean my rematch would be rushed, alright, I’m happy to be like, ‘If you’re gonna be that active, I’m gonna have to wait.

“I know my next fight is definitely gonna be for the title and the rematch but if he was to go somewhere else because he’d want to be active, which I would be more than okay with. Obviously, I’m not gonna do that because of my head, you want to take that serious, but my next fight will definitely 100 percent be the rematch. Mark my words, I am getting that belt back. I’m gonna do everything in my power,” Volkanovski said

Volkanovski may follow what Israel Adesanya did after he lost his UFC Middleweight Title to Sean Strickland at UFC 293. After the Strickland loss, Izzy announced he was taking a long break. Now, he is targeting a return against Dricus du Plessis, the current UFC Middleweight Champion, and the Sean Strickland rematch. 

Riddle’s Return

Elsewhere, Matt Riddle wants to make his MMA return this year. The former UFC and WWE star is currently a free agent after leaving WWE. He walked away from the UFC in 2013 and then MMA the following year. He ended his UFC career in mixed fashion, winning his last four bouts.

But two of those wins were overturned after he tested positive for marijuana. His last MMA fight was at Titan FC 27, where he submitted Michael Kuiper in the second round to take his pro record to 8-3 (2 NCs). 

Riddle then signed for WWE in 2018 before being released last year. Since then, Riddle has worked with Major League Wrestling and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, where he won the NJPW World Television Championship. Now, he has his sights on an MMA comeback. 

“I got hit up by a couple people [in the fight game]. I got hit up by bare-knuckle boxing, and I got hit up by, I believe, someone from PFL, I think it was a Dan Lambert, and he told me to message somebody — or some kind of messages went by and they asked me if I was interested, and I said I’m definitely interested. Just, the fight’s got to be right and the money’s got to be right.

“I haven’t heard back since, but to be fair, I’ve also been wrestling non-stop and doing that, because honestly, when it comes to money, it’s guaranteed money and I show up and it’s there. But I would love to step back in the cage or ring at some point. I want to do it at the end of 2024. I would love to,” Riddle stated

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