Alexander Volkanovski lights the fuse for huge trilogy title fight – saying opponent Max Holloway is lucky to be even stepping into the Octagon against him: ‘He’s blessed’
- Volkanovski will line up against American Max Holloway for the third at UFC 276
- The Aussie fighter won the first two encounters, including a split point decision
- He said other fighters would not get the same opportunities as Holloway
- Volkanovski believes no other fighter would get a title shot after being down 0-2
Australian UFC champion Alexander Volkanovski has fired the first shot ahead of his trilogy bout against Max Holloway – saying his opponent was ‘blessed’ to have been give the shot to walk into the octagon at all.
Featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has been virtually unstoppable in his 25 bout UFC career – lasting defeat just once nine years ago.
His latest win saw him knock out The Korean Zombie, Jung Chan-sung, in the fourth round at UFC 273 in April.
However, US featherweight champion Max Holloway is one of the fighters to come close in a split point decision in their second title bout.
The two fighters are in the top 10 pound-for-pound combatants in the world and they will meet again at UFC 276 on Sunday as the co-main event before Israel Adesanya versus Jared Cannonier.
Holloway sits at No. 6 in the world rankings, while Volkanovski is No. 3.
When asked on Main Event if this fight would be going ahead if he was the one 2-0 down, Volkanovski did not mince his words.
‘Honestly, no it wouldn’t,’ he said.
‘Max is known as ‘Blessed’ Holloway.
‘And he is blessed to be given this third shot.
‘For the UFC to ask for it, then for me as champion to accept after already going two-zero, I think he’s in a very lucky position.
‘So he should feel privileged and happy with this opportunity he’s got.
‘Because I don’t think anyone in any other division gets this chance.’
Volkanovski knows that his opponent will be hungry and that he faces a stern challenge after the American can within an inch of claiming an historic victory last time around.
‘Right now, it works,’ Volkanovski said.
‘Max is the No.1 contender and we did have that close fight last time.
‘So people are still interested and that’s why we’re going to make it happen.’
Alexander Volkanovski (R) punches UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway in their title fight during UFC 245 at T-Mobile Arena on December 14, 2019
Meanwhile, former titleholder Holloway has compared the bout to the Daniel Cormier versus Jon Jones light heavyweight light heavyweight bout, and it was ‘once in a generation’ that two of the best pound-for-pound fighters came together in the Octagon.
‘If you look at it this way, it’s crazy. When in the last decade did this fight happen, where two top guys in the top 10 pound-for-pound rankings happen?’ Holloway asked on The MMA Hour.
‘The only guys that come to mind is ‘DC’ [Daniel Cormier] and [Jon] Jones. That’s the only guys. And we’re here now, and this fight, these things don’t happen.
‘And these are the things that excite me. We get to be a part of that history.’
UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski pose ahead of a media opportunity in promotion of UFC 276
Holloway also said a championship belt wouldn’t define his career.
‘I’m a champion. I’ve been telling everybody that,’ he said.
‘I’m going to be a champion and I was a champion from since when I freakin’ got into the UFC. That’s just the way that you’ve got to carry yourself.
‘If you don’t carry yourself that way, then why are you fighting? Are you fighting to be the second best in the world? That makes no sense.’