Alex Volkanovski says he won’t fight Max Holloway for a third time until the latter gets back into the win column.
Volkanovski has defeated Holloway twice, the first time at UFC 245 via unanimous decision and the second time via razor close split decision at UFC 251. Their second bout stirred a lot of controversy, as many fans and critics alike believed that ‘Blessed’ won.
Controversial UFC 251 Win
Speaking with SCMP MMA (as transcribed by The Body Lock) however, the reigning champion argued his case, saying that although Holloway started off pretty well in their UFC 251 bout, he was able to pick pace in the later rounds and deserved to win.
“It is annoying. People just quickly forget,” Volkanovski said. “All they remember is the close fight we had last July. That’s all they remember. It was a close fight. It was very competitive. Max showed up early. I didn’t really show up.
“Luckily enough, I’m so well rounded and I’ve got that grit, I’m going to push myself. I ain’t going make excuses but if there was going to be a day that Max Holloway was going to beat me, that was the day. Let me just put that out there. And I was still able to steal the last three rounds so that just shows you how good I am. But people are going to forget that too.”
No Win, No Trilogy
Irrespective of the result, Volkanovski believes his UFC 251 fight with Holloway was a “rare” sight as two high level fighters went back and forth against one another. With that being said, the Australian won’t fight the Waianae native until he gets back in the win column.
“So again, it is annoying but at the same time, I understand it. It was a close fight. It was a very competitive fight and it was two of the best going at it,” Volkanovski stated. “There’s a lot of hate but at the same time, there are so many people who appreciate two of the guys at the highest level having this chess match. A lot of people are missing that and they don’t realise that what they got to see was f***ing rare.
“It is rare to see two of the highest level figuring each other out and really adjusting every minute. The fight IQ that was involved in both our fights was just incredible and people are missing that because obviously they see the first two rounds and that’s all they remember. I understand it (the desire for a trilogy) but come on, I ain’t going to keep rematching him till he wins.”
Volkanovski’s is expected to defend his featherweight title next against Brian Ortega, who is coming off an impressive decision victory against ‘The Korean Zombie’ at UFC Fight Island 6.
Who do you think won the UFC 251 co-main event between Alex Volkanovski and Max Holloway? And would you be interested in a third fight between the two?