When Alexander Volkanovski asked for a fight against Chad Mendes, it was an attempt to quickly climb through the UFC's springweight position.
The last thing he expected was to be the guy to send Mendes to retirement.
Volkanovski beat Mendes in the second round of their match last December, after which Mendes called time for his career.
"By saying I am well pleased that I retired, I am not a cruel person," Volkanovski said. "I'm not here to hurt people and things like that. I think it sounds cold, many people are like" Oh, you've retired Chad Mendes, how good is that? ""
The victory had the desired result for Australian Volkanovski, raising him to No. 4 in the rankings and serving him against UFC legend and No. 1
"That's why I called him out. Chad Mendes, he's a wild type fighter … but I knew I could do it, and I knew it would put me where I am now."  Alexander Volkanovski beat Chad Mendes by knockout last December. Photo / Getty Images ” src=”data:image/png;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPAAAOrq6v///yH5BAAAAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw==” data-srcset=”//www.nzherald.co.nz/resizer/c3b618m4LZCsv0iezDPrs2l25rk=/320×213/smart/filters:quality(70)/arc-anglerfish-syd-prod-nzme.s3.amazonaws.com/public/VS2AJ35Z5VEZXA5NMBI5WDGQWM.jpg 320w,//www.nzherald.co.nz/resizer/a8ZbYC-jHlOJ_904ihD4a6E0T_c=/375×250/smart/filters:quality(70)/arc-anglerfish-syd-prod-nzme.s3.amazonaws.com/public/VS2AJ35Z5VEZXA5NMBI5WDGQWM.jpg 375w,//www.nzherald.co.nz/resizer/3fdaSYLF_Vwmq0Et3KFaTg5XkWU=/620×414/smart/filters:quality(70)/arc-anglerfish-syd-prod-nzme.s3.amazonaws.com/public/VS2AJ35Z5VEZXA5NMBI5WDGQWM.jpg 620w”/>
Volkanovski was in Auckland this week on training at City Kickboxing, a trip he made a staple of his training camps. Overcoming a niggling back issue that had previously limited the length of his training camps, the 30-year-old was thrilled with the opportunity to go into his fight against Aldo with a few weeks of extra work under his belt.
A former featherweight champion is the 32-year-old Aldo led in his twilight career, but still poses a major threat as he showed in his recent knockout victory over No. 5, Renato Moicano ranked.
But Volkanovski is hungry and said if Aldo was even considering retirement, he would gladly send him off.
"I will put pressure on him," Volkanovski said. "I have to do it very, very hard for him in there, and don't be surprised if I retire in two legends in a row. It's not caress, it's just if you look at the finish line, I'm not the guy you want fight. "
A victory over Aldo and Volkanovski would have a strong case at a title shot in his next match.
But with the current featherweight champion, Max Holloway, going up to the lightweight to combat the temporary title of the division next month, the future of the spring-weight belt is in the air.
"If he wins and is going to fight (suspended lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov) later in the year, I am not waiting," says Volkanovski. "I want to fight with someone for the temporary title."
"I think Frankie Edgar is waiting for a title shot, but if Max loses and I take out Aldo if Frankie still thinks he's getting that fight over me … he dreams."