Alexander Volkanovski can't do much but accept Jon Jones dethroning him as the pound-for-pound number one fighter in the UFC.

Jones enjoyed a triumphant return to action for the first time in three years when he easily submitted Ciryl Gane at UFC 285 to become the new heavyweight champion. For many, it further cemented his claim as the GOAT of the sport while Jones quickly overtook Volkanovski in the pound-for-pound rankings as well.

Volkanovski, the featherweight champion, recently suffered defeat to Islam Makhachev in their lightweight title fight last month in a contest that was also promoted to determine the pound-for-pound number one.

But given that he was moving up and the the fact that many believe he deserved to win, “The Great” managed to retain his spot at the top. That was, until Jones won which further heated the debates up given his inactivity.

“Everyone loves talking about it,” Volkanovski said on “Steve-O’s Wild Ride!” via MMA Fighting. “It’s a big deal. I’ll be honest with you, [becoming] a champion was great, being pound-for-pound No. 1 [was greater], which Jon Jones took that from me (laughs). I don’t think with all of the [rankings], but the UFC, yes.”

Volkanovski is undefeated at featherweight and has enjoyed four title defenses since Jones' previous last fight in February 2020. Many observers also feel he should stay at number one with Jones being number two given the Aussie's overall body of work.

Volkanovski certainly believes that should be taken into consideration. At the same time, however, he can also accept Jones leapfrogging him.

“He actually said it really well where it goes by what you’ve done lately as well,” Volkanovski added. “It’s gonna go with that you might have done a whole heap four years ago, but that’s got nothing to do with now. You are not pound-for-pound, we don’t know what you’re doing right now. So, that’s always gonna come into play, though.

“It was just that one [fight in three years], you’re right. But what he did, moving up — at least he moved up and showed that pound-for-pound comes into play. The body of work that we’ve done in the last three years, obviously, a lot of people are gonna be like, ‘Look what Alex has done in the last three years.’ You can get that, but at the same time, look at what Jon Jones has done as well. Can I really argue that? He’s gonna be one of the greatest of all time. For him to take that is like, ‘Damn it! What do you do?’”

Alexander Volkanovski is expected to face interim featherweight champion Yair Rodriguez next.