Alexander Volkanovski will enter the Octagon in the UFC 245 co-main event prepared to challenge the reigning featherweight champion Max Holloway, and he will do with with the mindset that, stylistically speaking, he has conquered greater challenges.
One common opponent the featherweight title combatants share is Jose Aldo, whom both have defeated. In Holloway’s case, he defeated Jose Aldo on two separate occasions to cement himself as the new king of the featherweight division. But Alexander Volkanovski is coming straight for the crown this weekend when challenges Max Holloway, and he, too, has defeated Jose Aldo. And from that experience, Volkanovski learned a lot about himself, one thing being that the experience of facing Aldo was the most challenging experience of his career, which includes the fight that will be happening this weekend at UFC 245 (Via MMA Junkie):
“I’ve always been confident,” Volkanovski said during UFC 245 media day. “But them last couple of fights really did boost my confidence even more… To completely change my type of style just to adapt to a fighter (against) one of the greatest of all time. I was able to do that and get it done. That just really proved to me that we’re on another level.
“That just made me be like, ‘Man.’ I reckon stylistically, usually you would say that was a harder fight for me than even Max, when you look stylistically. But I mean, Max is a great champion.”
This does not mean that Volkanovski does not expect another stiff challenge in Max Holloway this weekend. And how could he not, when Holloway has won 14 consecutive fights in the featherweight division? When the cage door closes tomorrow night, Volkanovski has envisioned how the two fighters’ styles will contrast with one another:
“… We’re both going to try to break each other’s rhythm, but at the same time we’re both not going to let each other take a backwards step,” Volkanovski said. “If we’re going backward, we’re doing it on purpose… Mate, you’re going to see fireworks. Again, he’s going to put himself in positions where he thinks he can maybe get a hand ahead, but he’s going to run into a brick wall.”
UFC 245 takes place this Saturday, December 14 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada and the main card will stream live on ESPN+.
Do you agree with Alexander Volkanonvski? Is Jose Aldo a tougher stylistic matchup for him than Max Holloway?