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Volkanovski aiming for GOAT status as rivals clash
Australian UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski kept it respectful ahead of his clash with The Korean Zombie, otherwise known as Chan Sung Jung, at the official press conference ahead of their clash at UFC 273.
Yet the same could not be said for other fighters, as heated bantamweight rivals Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan had to be separated by security.
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Staredowns were out of the question for the event but Volkanovski was granted the opportunity to come face to face with Jung.
“I just can’t wait to get in there,” he said, before telling the crowd, “supposedly, we’re not allowed to do any faceoffs, or something. But let’s give the crowd what they want – I want to do faceoff with Zombie if we can do that.”
The Australian received a huge roar from the crowd in Jacksonville when he ripped off his shirt after coming face to face with his opponent, but things remained cordial between the two.
The Aussie was asked how he viewed his own legacy in the UFC to other fighters within the GOAT conversation, having racked up 20 consecutive victories.
“I’ve got some work to do,” he said.
“I’m not the type of guy to toot my own horn, but I believe in my abilities and I’ve got a lot of goals.
“I want that GOAT status … I want all that kind of stuff. My work ethic, my mentality will get me there, but I’ve still got a lot of work to do.”
The energy in the arena shifted when Sterling and Yan came out and tried to do their own faceoff, with security officials forced to intervene.
Sterling, who took the bantamweight belt off Yan in 2021 after copping an illegal knee and winning via disqualification, showed up to the press conference with a Jacksonville Jaguars helmet, and an MMA ‘rule book for dummies’.
“I’ll kill him on Saturday,” Yan said.
“I finally get to shut this motherf—er up,” Sterling responded, calling Yan “dirty”.
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