Alexander Volkanovski is set to defend his featherweight title at UFC 251 but believes a fight against 155-pound champion Khabib Nurmagomedov could happen in the future.
"I don't like people chasing other divisions, but (fighting Nurmagomedov) is definitely an option," Volkanovski told theScore. "Right now, got a belt to defend, and then there's probably going be No. 1 contender (after that). But I mean early next year, if something comes to me, like that fight, I'll have to take it."
Volkanovski (21-1) won his 145-pound championship by defeating former titleholder Max Holloway by unanimous decision at UFC 245 in December. The 31-year-old is set to rematch Holloway on July 11 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
Nurmagomedov (28-0) is reportedly set to defend his lightweight championship against interim titleholder Justin Gaethje at UFC 253 in September. Though he'd be moving up a weight class, Volkaonvski believes he's a bad stylistic matchup for "The Eagle."
"Khabib is one of the GOATs as well. Nothing but respect for the dude," Volkanovski said. "But I'm very, very hard to hold down. I've obviously got the brains. I've got the cardio. I'm a freak when it comes to holding on the ground; it's just almost impossible holding me on the ground. Nothing but respect to all the fighters that are in the UFC, but every single one of us wants to prove something. And you know, eventually, I want to prove myself in that lightweight division too."
UFC 251 takes place July 11 on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will defend his title in the main event against teammate Gilbert Burns.
Look for the full video interview with Volkanovski on Tuesday, June 23 on theScoreMMAPodcast. In the meantime, subscribe to theScoreMMA YouTube channel here.