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Volkanovski eyes future move to lightweight

Paul Kane / UFC / Getty

Alexander Volkanovski is committed to defending the UFC featherweight title, but he sees himself moving to the lightweight division later in his career.

"While I might have goals in front of me, they're not my end goals," Volkanovski told ESPN's Sam Bruce. "So my goal might be the belt, it might be defending that belt, and my goal is still to defend that belt, but I want to be the best fighter there is.

"... And to do so, I want to move up and fight (at lightweight) as well."

Volkanovski defended his 145-pound title for the first time in a rematch with Max Holloway in July. He beat the 28-year-old Hawaiian to become the champion last December.

The Australian expects to face off with Brian Ortega in his next title defense. Volkanovski has no plans to move up to 155 pounds right away, with several other featherweights nearing a title shot, including Zabit Magomedsharipov, Yair Rodriguez, and Calvin Kattar.

"I've got a division that I want to take out," Volkanovski said. "I want to be the best the featherweights have seen, so I want a couple of defenses here."

At 5-foot-6, Volkanovski would face a size disadvantage against many lightweights such as Justin Gaethje and Conor McGregor. But "The Great" has trained with lightweight contender Dan Hooker and middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, so he's confident he'd do just fine up a weight class.

"People are going to doubt me. ... I love those doubters," Volkanovski said. "It drives me more, it motivates me more, and I'll just go out and prove them wrong."

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