Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Volkanovski Admits Regret Over “Silly” Tweet About Holloway’s Injury

UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski has looked back on his response to Max Holloway’s injury and subsequent recovery, describing his remarks as “silly.”

After securing a decision victory over Yair Rodriguez in a FOTY contender last November, a win that secured his second headlining triumph of 2021, Holloway appeared set for a third crack at adding the opening blemish to Volkanovski’s UFC record, a feat he’d failed to manage in 2019 and 2020.

In January, it was announced the pair would headline UFC 272 this month. But after agitating a previous injury, “Blessed” was forced to withdraw, paving the way for “The Korean Zombie” to step in for the Australian’s next defense, which was moved to UFC 273 in April.

But after making a fast recovery, Holloway was reportedly keen to serve as backup for the April 9 pay-per-view main event, something that clearly agitated the 145-pound champ, who took to Twitter to accuse his rival of faking the injury.

After many came out in support of Holloway, suggesting the former titleholder would never create an excuse to pull out, Volkanovski has now admitted his tweet was out of line.

Volkanovski Walks Back Holloway Accusations

During a recent appearance on Submission Radio, Volkanovski was asked whether he’d received any more information about Holloway’s apparent willingness to be the backup fighter for UFC 273.

In his response, “The Great” took the opportunity to address his previous remark. Volkanovski admitted he let his frustration and confusion get the better of him, something he says he’s been working to avoid moving forward.

“I didn’t get clarification (on Holloway’s willingness to be backup for UFC 273). Obviously, I heard about it, and obviously, it was frustrating,” said Volkanovski. “At the time, you know, I really wanted that fight. So once he got injured after they’d already announced it early, it was all a little bit confusing and frustrating. So you’ve seen my frustration. I wanted to tweet and get that—have a little shot at Max and his fans. But that was the only reason, which was pretty silly on my behalf, to be honest. That just shows you where my head was at back then. That’s something that I’ve really been working on lately.

Alexander Volkanovski Max Holloway
Alexander Volkanovski, Max Holloway (Image Credit: Louis Grasse/PxImages & Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

“I bring that up just purely because, as you could see, it obviously, things that I’d say—I don’t know if he (Holloway) even asked for that (backup slot), let’s be real,” added Volkanovski. “That could’ve just been, I think it was Brett Okamoto who put it out there? I was like, ‘What, how is this gonna work? As if we’re gonna have out trilogy on a late-replacement.’ So I was a little frustrated. But for me to even let it get to me, and we don’t even know the real story behind it, it just shows me how much I was diving into the wrong sh*t, if that makes sense? I felt like I had to say something about it when I didn’t even know if it was true.”

With Holloway seemingly ready to go in April and beyond, it stands to reason the victor of next month’s PPV main event will be standing opposite the Hawaiian in the Octagon soon after.

If Volkanovski manages to secure his third title defense and 21st consecutive MMA victory in Jacksonville next month, the much-awaited trilogy should be a go.

Do you agree with Alexander Volkanovski? Were his comments directed to Max Holloway unnecessary?

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