Despite Max Holloway coming up short in his last two fights with current UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski the promotion is still entertaining the idea of a trilogy bout.
Holloway, who lost to Volkanovski via unanimous decision at UFC 245 back in December, was hoping to regain his 145-pound crown last weekend at UFC 251 when he met “The Great” in an anticipated rematch. Despite Holloway doing enough in the eyes of 1.3 million PPV watchers to win the featherweight reboot two of the judges awarded Volkanovski the victory via split decision (highlights HERE).
The outcome has sparked much controversy around the sport as this now leaves Holloway, the consensus greatest featherweight of all time, without direction in a weight class he’s called home since 2012. “Blessed” is simply at a point in his career where he needs to be fighting for the title, not climbing back up the ladder of a division he helped build.
While most times when a fighter captures two victories over an opponent UFC wouldn’t entertain a third meeting, the promotion is changing its tune in this instance as Holloway seemingly did enough to reclaim his featherweight strap on “Fight Island.”
“I agree, and it’s probably not tough to give him the third fight considering how that thing went down,” said UFC president Dana White during a recent live chat with Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole. “But I don’t know, again let both these guys go home, spend some time [resting]. It sucks for Volkanovski to have the title, go home with everybody saying, ‘ah you didn’t win the fight, you didn’t win the fight.’ He won the fight, he won the fight. He got the decision. You can agree with it, disagree with it whatever you want to. The judges that night gave him the fight and I gotta get back to the drawing board and figure out what’s next for these two.”
White may be leaning towards a trilogy bout between Volkanovski and Holloway but it’s still too early to tell if that will actually get done. Volkanovski has a plethora of title contenders at 145 pounds, including the likes of Brian Ortega, Chan Sung Jung, Yair Rodriguez, Zabit Magomedsharipov, and Calvin Kattar, so it’s not like he’s short on options.
Also, Holloway has been discussing a move up to lightweight over the past few years. “Blessed” even tested the waters against 155-pound standout Dustin Poirier for an interim title back at UFC 236, but came up short on the judges’ scorecards yet again.
For now, all we can do is sit back and see how this plays out. Volkanovski seems ready to move on from his rivalry with Holloway, but if UFC throws enough money his way anything is possible, especially if the trilogy bout takes place on the champ’s home soil.
What do you think? Should UFC book Volkanovski vs. Holloway 3? Or should Holloway move up and the featherweight division move on?
Let’s hear it!