Volkanovski (26-3 MMA, 13-2 UFC) stepped in on less than two weeks’ notice to challenge lightweight champ Islam Makhachev this past Saturday, but he was knocked out in the first round. After the loss, Volkanovski opened up about some of his recent mental struggles but insisted that he’s OK.
The setback marked Volkanovski’s first stoppage loss in the octagon, but “The Great” said he still intends on defending his featherweight title vs. Ilia Topuria in January, which Cejudo warns him against.
“If I’m Alexander Volkanovski, on the flip side, you know what I’m doing? I’ve got to humble myself,” Cejudo said on his YouTube channel. “I’ve got to allow my brain to heal for the next six months. I’ve been concussed, I’ve been knocked out to the body, but being concussed or going through a knockout, it takes you a minute for you to really kind of start walking that straight line.
“So there’s two sides. Volk, take your damn time. I wouldn’t necessarily be in a rush. You’re going to have to humble yourself. Yeah, I’m saying humble yourself because it shouldn’t be about ego nor pride. It should be about winning. It should be about preparation. It should be about your legacy.”
Cejudo explained that unbeaten finisher Topuria is exactly the kind of fighter that can make you pay for not taking an adequate amount of time off after suffering a knockout loss.
“If you want to take the fight on Jan. 20, kudos to you,” Cejudo continued. “But will you win? Will you be 100 percent? You just lost the 155-pound strap that you were going to capture, and the last thing you want to do is now go down and fight at 145 pounds and lose to a guy that only has 12, 13 fights.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 294.