The root of discussion was Max Holloway’s claim that he holds the pugilistic crown on MMA’s biggest stage. The former 145-pound titleholder infamously let the commentators, fans, and his peers aware of his boxing credentials during his dominant victory over Calvin Kattar in January this year.
In the Abu Dhabi-held main event, Holloway broke numerous striking records, including the most strikes attempted, most strikes landed, and the highest significant strike differential. The 25-minute onslaught ended in a unanimous decision victory for “Blessed.”
Holloway’s hands were at it again in his most recent appearance, which came against the returning Yair Rodriguez last weekend. In the UFC Vegas 42 main event, both men threw and landed hard shots. During the five-round barnburner, Holloway became the first UFC fighter to surpass 3,000 total strikes landed.
Volkanovski Questions Holloway’s Ability To “Hit And Not Get Hit”
Much of the discussion ahead of Holloway’s clash with “El Pantera” surrounded the Hawaiian’s boxing. One man to chime in was famed MMA striker Conor McGregor. The Irishman, who boasts 19 knockouts on his 28-fight record, posted a tweet, which read: “best boxer my ass crack.” The former featherweight champ added that “most shots absorbed” is not the best boxer.
Now, current 145-pound king Alexander Volkanovski has shared a similar sentiment. Speaking during an appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, “The Great” reminded those calling Holloway the best boxer in the UFC that with his high striking numbers, he’s bound to have absorbed thousands as well. Agreeing with McGregor, Volkanovski asserted that boxing is about hitting and not getting hit in return.
“They’re talking about 3,000 strikes he’s threw, which is incredible, you know, and I’ll clap for that. But, he’s probably in the thousands or two thousands of absorption as well… Conor touched on that actually, Conor makes a good point. You talk about being (the best boxer in the UFC), you know, it’s hit and not get hit. That’s what makes the best boxer. You look at the numbers, he’s hitting a lot of numbers. But let’s look at other numbers. Let’s look at ratios.”
Discussing strike differential, Volkanovski suggested that he probably boasts one of the best in the promotion. He added that Holloway’s high-risk offensive strategy is bound to wear down his chin, something he’s hoping to prove if they meet in the Octagon for a third time.
“It (strike differential) doesn’t get more impressive than mine. I think mine would be right up there. But again, if you wanna talk numbers, let’s talk real numbers. At the end of the day, I’ll give Max (credit), he’s a gamer. I’m sitting there tryna knock him, but at the same time, you’ve gotta give him credit; it’s entertaining… But at the same time, you can’t do that forever. That chin’s gonna go. Let’s see if it happens in the next one. I’m gonna be looking for it.”
Whether it’s a trilogy with Volkanovski or a rematch with McGregor, something both men have flirted with in recent weeks, Holloway’s boxing is likely to be thoroughly tested in his next outing.
Do you agree with Conor McGregor and Alexander Volkanovski?