Two days after being announced, the trilogy fight between Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski has been cancelled due to an injury for the challenger.
This puts Dana White in a difficult situation because currently, there’s no one that either deserves a title shot, or is fit for a title shot by March 6th. Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez, who are ranked 2 and 3 in the featherweight rankings respectively, are both coming off losses to Holloway and Volkanovski, so it doesn’t make sense for them to be projected to a title shot in March. Furthermore, Rodriguez isn’t fit after his brutal 5 round war with Holloway in November.
Another possible option is the winner of Giga Chikadze vs Calvin Kattar, depending on how the fight goes. If the fight is stopped in round one or two and the winner doesn’t pick up an injury, they could make a quick turn around to fight two months later for the title.
‘The Korean Zombie,’ Chan Sung Jung has also said he’s willing to step in to face the Volkanovski, giving the champion a new and exciting challenge. Jung’s manager Jason House said “KZ is more than willing to step in and fight for the title at UFC 272. Looking at the rankings, he is the next highest ranked fighter coming off a win and this is a fight many have talked about for quite a while now. Given the opportunity, he will show that he’s the best in the world.” Currently, this seems like the most likely result from this dilemma.
The fight most fans would like to see involves the return of former flyweight and bantamweight champion, Henry Cejudo. Cejudo would be looking to become the first three division UFC champion, a feat no one would even think of a few years ago. Cejudo looks up for the challenge as well, telling Dana White he has his number on twitter.
The only problem with picking Cejudo is that he vacated both the flyweight and bantamweight titles, something Dana White has constantly expressed he hates fighters’ doing. If Cejudo was to fight for and win the belt, this fight may be a one off for him, putting the division in a more difficult division than it already is in as finding challengers for the title becomes even tougher than before.
Looking at the probable candidates for a title shot at UFC 272, ‘The Korean Zombie’ looks most likely to get a chance at Volkanovski due to his win over Dan Ige in June, although fan favourite Henry Cejudo wants the title shot, it’ll probably be a last resort if Dana White was to pick him.