Since suffering consecutive losses at the hands of Volkanovski, Holloway has looked back to his best. “Blessed” rebounded in January this year with an incredible record-breaking striking performance against Calvin Kattar. Having re-entered the win column on Fight Island, Holloway was matched up with the returning Yair Rodriguez.
After their scheduled bout fell through due to a Holloway injury, the pair finally collided in the UFC Vegas 42 main event this past weekend. In a five-round Fight of the Year contender, both men hit each other with their best shots. After 25 minutes of action, it was Holloway who had earned a unanimous decision victory. In doing so, he maintained his position as the top contender at 145 pounds.
Volkanovski Threatens To Move Past Holloway
In the aftermath of Holloway’s latest Octagon triumph, the general consensus has been that the logical next step in the featherweight title scene is a trilogy fight between the former champion and the reigning kingpin Volkanovski. However, the Hawaiian has been notably quiet about a championship fight, and spent much of UFC Vegas 43 fight week teasing a rematch with Conor McGregor.
During a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s The MMA Hour, Volkanovski discussed Holloway’s apparent dismissiveness of him. The Aussie threatened to focus on other contenders if “Blessed” continues the “games and all the bullshit.”
“I’m not surprised (that Holloway didn’t mention me). All week he’s been (saying), you know, ‘Ah, (there’s) bigger fights’ and all that. Again, I’m the champ. You can say whatever you want, you can push whatever bullshit narratives you want. I hate getting into this, but at the end of the day you’re 0-2 (against me)… You’re trying to act like, ‘Ah yeah, maybe, we’ll see,’ listen mate, you don’t want it? Don’t worry about it. I’ll get the next guy. There’s plenty of people waiting.
“But again, I want the best guys, Max truly is the next best guy. (I’ve got) nothing but respect for him as a fighter, but stop playing the games and all the bullshit. You want the fight? Let the UFC know. You know the UFC are telling you about it; they’re telling us about it. You don’t want it? Hurry up, and we’ll see who’s next.”
Volkanovski reiterated that while he wants to fight the best at 145 pounds, he won’t chase Holloway if he continues to act in the same way. “The Great” even joked that he’ll line up Henry Cejudo, who’s been making his desire to mount a featherweight title charge known, for his next title defense.
“I’m used to it now. Again, it’s just, I don’t really know what games he’s playing. I don’t really get where he’s going with it. I think he’s just trying to make it out like, ‘Yeah, I’m the big dog.’ Maybe that’s where he’s trying to go with it, as if I’m gonna chase the fight. But the way he’s going, I’m about to just go, ‘Oi, Henry Cejudo, you want it? I know you’re calling for it, come on Henry, let’s do it then.’ I want the best guys in the division. if they’re gonna play their bullshit games I ain’t waiting around.”
How do you think a third fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway would play out?