When Alexander Volkanovski asked for a fight against Chad Mendes, it was a bid to climb through the UFC's featherweight rankings quickly.

The last thing he expected was to be the guy to send Mendes into retirement.

Volkanovski knocked Mendes out in the second round of their bout last December, after which Mendes called time on his career.

"In saying that I feel good that I retired him, I'm not a cruel type of person," Volkanovski said. "I'm not in here to hurt people and stuff like that. I guess it sounds cool; a lot of people are like 'oh you retired Chad Mendes, how good's that?'"

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The victory had the desired result for the Australian Volkanovski, lifting him to No 4 in the rankings and earning him a bout against UFC legend and No 1 contender Jose Aldo at UFC 237 in Brazil in May.

"That's why I called him out. Not many people call out Chad Mendes, he's a wild type of 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 in December last year. Photo / Getty Images
Alexander Volkanovski beat Chad Mendes by knockout in December last year. Photo / Getty Images

Volkanovski was in Auckland this week training at City Kickboxing, a trip he has made a staple part of his training camps. Overcome a niggling back issue that had previously limited the length of his training camps, the 30-year-old was excited by the prospect of going into his bout against Aldo with a few weeks extra work under his belt.

A former featherweight champion, the 32-year-old Aldo is headed into the twilight of his career, but still poses a huge threat as he showed in his most recent knockout win over No 5 ranked Renato Moicano.

But Volkanovski is hungry and said if Aldo was even considering retirement, he'd happily send him off.

"I'm going to put pressure on him," Volkanovski said. "I'm going to make it very, very rough for him in there and don't be surprised if I retire two legends in a row. That's not cockiness, it's just if you're looking at the finish line I'm not the guy you want to fight."

A win over Aldo and Volkanovski would have a strong case at a title shot in his next bout.

Jose Aldo is a former two-time UFC featherweight champion. Photo / Getty Images
Jose Aldo is a former two-time UFC featherweight champion. Photo / Getty Images

However, with current featherweight champion Max Holloway stepping up to lightweight to contest the interim title in that division next month, the future of the featherweight belt is up in the air.

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"If he does win and is going to fight (suspended lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov) later in the year, I ain't waiting around," Volkanovski said. "I'll fight someone for the interim title.

"I think Frankie Edgar is waiting around 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's dreaming."