A REMATCH makes sense, but UFC featherweight champion Alex Volkanovski won't wait on deposed former champion Max Holloway when it comes to defending his strap.
Volkanovski ended the Hawaiian's long reign over the division via a convincing decision victory in December, but the pair remain clearly the best two 145-pounders in the world- those ranked below them a long list of already vanquished opponents
It makes a rematch the logical first title defence for Volkanovski, despite many observers scoring their bout a five-round shutout to the Aussie.
Volkanovski is determined to make the first defence of his title on the recently announced UFC 251 card set to hit Perth in June, with or without Holloway.
The fact he was willing to do a quick FIFO job for the launch in the western capital on Tuesday - even without a fight locked in on the card - shows how desperate he is to defend his crown.
"My next fight's my first defence and I want that [Perth fight]," Volkanovski said.
"Obviously everything is pointed towards me fighting on that card but, at the same time, the UFC haven't come to me [with an opponent] yet.
"I'm a gamer, I'll fight anyone. We'll see who that is because right now there's no clear number one. Whoever takes the number one contender spot would probably get that fight but no one's stepped up and won that spot.
"A lot of people are throwing Max up, and he was a great champion, but when we watched back the tape and my corner said 'why give him a rematch, you clearly won that fight'.
"If that rematch does happen and I take him out again, that really does put me up there as one of the greatest."
That remains his burning ambition, establishing himself as the best featherweight to ever do it.
He's already made convincing work of two fighters who have laid claim to that title - Holloway and Brazilian legend Jose Aldo. He admits another, superstar Conor McGregor, is likely out of reach, but the mantle that drives him remains well within his grasp.
"I'm not too far away," Volkanovski says earnestly.
"It's hard to say when so many people have defended it, guys like [Jose] Aldo and Max, but you look at who I beat leading into taking the title and beating Max in his prime shows I am right up there.
"There's another name there in Conor [McGregor], but he didn't beat Max when I did, he beat him very early in his career. If he was to come down and I take him out then it would solidify me.
"He won't see my division again unfortunately because I know I'd win that fight. At the same time, there's a lot of killers in this division and I'm going to stand my ground and hold my title for a long, long time."
It's a refreshing approach in an era where hyped up cross divisional "super-fights" have become somewhat vogue in the UFC, leaving titles undefended and entire divisions frozen.
Current flyweight-bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo made his own pitch for such a battle with Volkanovski, issuing a social media callout on Valentine's Day.
Fellow featherweight Chan Sung Jung, better known by the moniker 'Korean Zombie', has made similar overtures.
Volkanovski scoffs at both but, after years of toiling away with little recognition outside Australia, he's happy to be the big dog others are chasing.
"When you've got the belt they're going to come, they're all chasing you now," he said.
"Good on them, they're all going to call me out and try and get that title fight. I don't blame them, but you've got to be that number-one contender.
"I want someone who deserves to fight me. If guys want to go out and earn that opportunity, I'm happy to give it to them."