Alexander Volkanovski says Tai Tuivasa still close to title

UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski doesn’t think Tai Tuivasa lost much stock against Cyril Gane.

Although Tuivasa’s winning streak snapped Sept. 3 at the hands of Gane at UFC Fight Night 209 in Paris, the Aussie slugger brought out a version of Gane (11-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) the world had yet to see.

Tuivasa (15-4 MMA, 8-4 UFC) became the first man to drop Gane and turned their matchup into a dog fight. However, Gane survived and eventually punished Tuivasa’s body before he got the knockout finish. Just based off his gutsy performance, Volkanovski says Tuivasa isn’t out of the title race yet.

“His stocks are still rising at that,” Volkanovski said in an interview with Fox Sports Australia. “I don’t think he goes further down. I think he’s still right up there so I don’t think he’s in too bad of a position. I don’t think he’s lost too much there.

“I think he’ll have another big fight and he’ll still be in that title picture. I think because he’s a big name, he’s a fan favorite, people love to watch him fight and people are gonna want him to fight for that title soon if he gets another win, which I hope happens shortly.”

Prior to the Gane loss, Tuivasa knocked out five straight opponents, including Augusto Sakai and former title challenger Derrick Lewis. Tuivasa’s entertaining back-and-forth battle against Gane earned him a $50,000 performance bonus for Fight of the Night – his fourth straight bonus.

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