Alexander Volkanovski made mistake taking UFC 280 backup opportunity, says Henry Cejudo

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“Be smart about what you do,” is the overarching message Henry Cejudo is hoping to get across to UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.

Cejudo, a former two-division UFC champion, thinks Volkanovski’s recent agreement to serve as the UFC 280 main event backup is not intelligent for a variety of reasons. The event takes place Oct. 22 at Etihad Arena on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.

Paramount, Cejudo said, is the seemingly rushed nature of the situation. Fresh off surgery, Volkanovski is turning around to travel across the world for a fight that may not even happen. Given his status as the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world in the eyes of many, Volkanovski will likely get a crack at the winner of Oliveira vs. Makhachev anyway, analyzed Cejudo.

“A lot of you guys are going to think I’m being a hater, but I’m going to tell you why this is a mistake for Alexander Volkanovski,” Cejudo recently said in a video posted to his YouTube channel. “Alexander Volkanovski, No. 1, you’re going to get that second title shot. The UFC confirmed to you, you’re the next person in line to fight for the lightweight title. Why don’t you just wait?”

If someone pulls out, Cejudo thinks it’ll be Oliveira, meaning Volkanovski would fight Makhachev – and that’s a bad fight, according to “The King of Cringe.”

“Let’s say hypothetically, if you were to fight a guy like Islam Makhachev, that’s the worst matchup that you could have picked,” Cejudo said. “Because Islam Makhachev, he is, if you want to call him a ‘one trick pony,’ that one trick pony of what he does, where you’ve never been while a guy with the power and the strength and the weight he’s going to have on top of you, it’s not a smart idea, Alexander.”

Overall, Cejudo expressed disagreement with Volkanovski’s decision, which thought lacked an attempt at self-worth maximization.

“Taking your time is the best thing that you could do, because right now you’re not giving yourself a fighter’s chance,” Cejudo said. “You’re just fighting to see, ‘OK, I’m going to fight and I’m going to see if I can win.’ Not only will you lose, but you’ll also lose your pound-for-pound status. When you have that pound-for-pound status, even though it’s voted by these damn analysts who have never fought in their life, I will say you are pound-for-pound right now. You will lose that. You’ve got to keep that stuff in mind.

“Make the right decisions. Don’t just jump out there for attention. Maybe if I were you, I’d go out just to watch like, ‘Hey, I’m next.’ Let Dariush (or) let Gamrot get the title shot if one of those guys doesn’t make weight. Looking at that, just seeing it that way, it just seems like you just kind of (are) just seeing what sh*t sticks on the wall. You don’t want to do that. Be smart about what you do.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 280.

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