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Having won 20 of his 21 professional bouts, the most recent of which was a conclusive decision win against Jose Aldo in Rio de Janeiro a couple of weeks ago, many had thought that Australia’s Alexander Volkanovski was a shoo-in for a world title shot at 145-pounds. 

However, it was recently announced by the UFC that Holloway will instead face longtime UFC veteran Frankie Edgar in late July at UFC 240. Edgar, the former UFC lightweight champion, has come up short in two previous shots at a 145-pound title losing twice to Aldo for both the undisputed and interim iterations of UFC featherweight gold but a loss in March of last year against Brian Ortega was thought to send him a few rungs down the ladder.

Edgar rebounded the following April to defeat Cub Swanson for a second time to give him a record of 3-2 in his last five, hardly the type of form many would consider to be deserving of a title shot (particularly held in contrast to Volkanovski), but it is understood that his status as a UFC veteran and a ‘company guy’ has got Edgar over the line on this particular occasion.

And Volkanovski isn’t exactly happy about it, though he says he expects to meet the winner for the title later this year.

“I was pretty pissed off with the timing of the announcement [of] Max Holloway vs. Frankie Edgar,” Volkanovski announced on Twitter. “In saying that, the plan for me was always fighting for the belt later this year and the UFC have made it clear as No. 1 contender, I’m next in line.

“I wish Max and Frankie all the best and I look forward to meeting either of you in the Octagon later in the year.”

Volkanovski was sidelined by an infection in the aftermath of his win against Aldo though it isn’t expected to affect the Australian’s chances of fighting later this year, perhaps at the UFC’s event in Sydney, Australia on October 5.