Alexander Volkanovski calls Jose Aldo featherweight GOAT ahead of UFC 301: ‘He’s how a champion should be’

Alexander Volkanovski hasn’t changed his mind on who the greatest featherweight of all time is.

Volkanovski (26-4 MMA, 13-3 UFC) defended his 145-pound title five times before losing it to Ilia Topuria at UFC 298 in February. His resume includes wins over Jose Aldo, Max Holloway three times, and Brian Ortega.

But Volkanovski had high praise for “The King of Rio” and the way he carried himself throughout his six-year championship reign that began in the WEC.

“Obviously his technique, his skill is always going to be something that you’re going to appreciate, but him being such a respectful champion,” Volkanovski told Fox Sports Australia. “Again, that’s how I like to be like. I think he’s morally correct, I think he’s just respectful. He’s how a champion should be, and that was something that I really did appreciate and made me want to be a great champion, too.”

Aldo (31-8 MMA, 13-7 UFC) returns vs. Jonathan Martinez (19-4 MMA, 10-3 UFC) in Saturday’s UFC 301 (Pay-per-view/ESPN/ESPN+) bantamweight co-main event at Rio Arena in Rio de Janeiro.

Volkanovski admitted Aldo’s UFC record seven title defenses at featherweight makes him the greatest in the history of the division.

“I can appreciate what Aldo’s done, you know what I mean,” Volkanovski said. “That’s for other people to decide but you know for me, if you’re going to ask me, I’m going to say Aldo because you know, he was a champion for a very long time.

“Obviously, people are going to look at competition and all that, but to be champion that long, things go wrong. You fight injured, there’s so many things that can go wrong and to be champion that long, it’s saying something. He was very dominant as champion, as well, so full respect to Aldo.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 301.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie