With the kind of wins that red-hot Alexander Volkanovski continues to put forth, it's going to be hard for UFC brass to keep him away from a featherweight title shot.
Five months after he retired former title challenger Chad Mendes via TKO, Volkanovski took it one step further on Saturday with a clear unanimous decision win over Brazilian legend and longtime champion Jose Aldo at UFC 237 in Rio de Janeiro.
Not only did Volkanovski (19-1) limit Aldo's output and consistently beat him to the punch throughout, he reeled off an impressive 17th consecutive win and improved to 7-0 since making his UFC debut in 2016.
"I wanted to land punches which is why I was standing and trading for some time," Volkanovski said. "Aldo, nothing but respect and you are a legend. Thank you for that."
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Despite being showered in boos over the final two rounds by the partisan crowd for pinning Aldo against the cage and controlling from the clinch, Volkanovski was never seemingly not in control of the fight.
The native of Australia hit Aldo with a taste of his own medicine early in Round 1 by landing a series of hard leg kicks that set a tone. Despite eating the occasional jab from Aldo in return, Volkanovski controlled distance well enough to keep himself out of trouble.
The frustrated Aldo (28-5), who looked for a huge counter shot throughout that never came, failed to step on the gas at any point in an attempt to rally. The 32-year-old raised his arms after the final horn and appeared to believe he won.
Aldo has one fight left on his UFC contract and has spoken publicly about wanting to exit the sport on his own terms this calendar year with one more bout in his home country. Volkanovski, meanwhile, called for a title shot against Max Holloway after the win.
"Hey, I'm next in line 100 percent," Volkanovski said. "I'm the only one who is undefeated in the top three right now. Let's set it up. I wouldn't mind being on the card in Australia. That's a cracker of a fight, let's make it happen.
"I told you all I was going to bring the win. I wish it was a knockout but what are you going to do?"
For complete results from UFC 237,.