At UFC 245, Alexander Volkanovski did what nobody had done to Max Holloway in the Featherweight division in five years, handing him a loss inside the Octagon. When they rematch at UFC 251, “The Great” plans to do to “Blessed” what no one has done to him in eight years, and that’s score a stoppage win over him.
According to Volkanovski, after he ended Holloway’s reign at 145 pounds, his frown was somewhat turned upside down in the days and weeks to follow. That's because the champ says he felt disrespected by not getting the credit he deserved for outclassing one of the best.
“This is a rematch and I’ve got something to prove right now, this is bigger than just a win,” Volkanovski told ESPN. “I don’t want to go out there and just beat him, I’ve already done that. I dominated him for five rounds last time, but they give him a rematch anyway.”
He plans to avoid that this time around by actually stopping “Blessed” within 25 minutes to erase any and all doubt as to who the better fighter is between the two.
“People quickly forget how I did it, there were biased opinions and commentary, everything. So I’m a little bit annoyed, I feel disrespected. I’ve got something to prove this time, I’ll put him away inside the five [rounds] this time. I guarantee you that. I’m sending a message.”
Neither man has competed in the six months since their first bout in large part because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
And while the coronavirus is still sweeping the globe, Dana White and Co. are still going strong, going as far as securing “Fight Island” on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi for all international fighters who can’t get into the country to compete.
Indeed, “The Great” and “Blessed” will co-headline the promotion’s first event on the island on July 11, 2020. Should Volkanovski get a second straight win over Holloway, it could prompt the former champ to make a permanent move up to Lightweight. If Max gets his revenge, don’t be too surprised to see a trilogy fight between the two sooner rather than later.