Aussie UFC featherweight champion Alexander “ The Great” Volkanovski has told 7NEWS.com.au he is more than willing to step into the ring with Jeff Horn.
Speaking days before his featherweight title bout against Brian Ortega was cancelled due to testing positive to COVID-19, the 32-year-old star flagged his interest in a potentially lucrative career move.
“You do have guys like Jeff Horn who has recently retired. He’s still young enough,” Volkanovski said.
“I think that (fight) sort of ties in and makes sense.
“I feel like we can definitely make something big happen.
“I’m a big fan of the boxing world and the fighters there. It would be unreal to compete with some of those guys there.”
It is a common misconception that 33-year-old Jeff Horn has retired from boxing.
There have been calls for him to retire following his loss against rising star Tim Tszyu in 2020, however, he has ruled out hanging up the gloves just yet.
Horn has stated previously that he will only retire when he reaches the age of 35 – two years from now. Leaving a fight with Volkanovski a viable option.
Championship bout cancelled
Volkanovski took to his social media on Sunday to announce his withdrawal from his upcoming championship bout with Brian Ortega after testing positive to COVID-19.
He was set to defend his featherweight title against Ortega on March 28 in Las Vegas but has been subsequently pulled from the card.
The 31-year-old had been tested several times for the virus during his trip to the US.
He tested negative before leaving Australia, and again before entering the UFC bubble, but tested positive in his most recent COVID-19 test.
The featherweight champion expressed his frustration in his social media post.
“We worked so hards getting ready for this fight and I’m absolutely guttered this has happened,” Volkanovski wrote.
“We followed every policy and process to remain covid-free but it wasn’t meant to be this time.
“Thanks to everyone here in the States for your support since arriving and to everyone back home and around the world for your positive messages.”
No fights Down Under
As the coronavirus pandemic halted sport last year Volkanovski attempted to coax the UFC into returning with an event in Australia or New Zealand.
He pointed to the NRL and AFL, which hosted COVID-friendly games and crowds, but the UFC quickly settled on Las Vegas and Fight Island in Abu Dhabi for its fight cards.
While that trend has continued this year ‘The Great’ did try to convince UFC president Dana White to put his upcoming fight with Brian Ortega somewhere Down Under.
“It would be incredible,” Volkanovski told 7NEWS.com.au
“We even put the idea to Dana.”
Volkanovski believes the UFC has conceded it will prove too difficult to have fights in Australia or New Zealand anytime soon.
“Obviously, there’s a reason why we are doing so well over here because of all our (COVID-safe) protocols,” he said.
“But having a two-week quarantine throws a big spanner in the works.”
“Maybe after this fight, we will have a vaccine, we are doing low (COVID-19) numbers and we will be in a position to have fights back down here.”