Reigning Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight titleholder Alexander Volkanovski wants no part of Max Holloway. Then again, “The Great” was already disinterested in rematching “Blessed” long before the Hawaiian put a clinic on Boston boxer Calvin Kattar at UFC Fight Island 7, so there was little reason to think Holloway’s record-breaking performance would change any of the Aussie’s short-term goals.
“Max put on a good show,” Volkanovski told Submission Radio. “I knew he would get the win. He doesn’t look like that in front of me, plain and simple. And I don’t mean that as disrespect, but I shut him down. He was breaking records with numbers, and he’s always a high-volume fighter, he’s always looking good when there’s other people in front of him. But when it’s me in front of him, I just don’t let him do his thing. But in saying that, he did definitely put on a good performance, and I’m gonna credit him for that. But at the same time, he doesn’t look like that in front of me.”
Volkanovski won a clearcut decision over Holloway at the UFC 245 pay-per-view (PPV) event back in late 2019, but struggled in their UFC 251 rematch — to the point where promotion president Dana White called for a third and final showdown. “The Great,” however, believes he has bigger fish to fry in the lightweight class and wants to be included on the short list of fighters eligible to challenge former two-division champion Conor McGregor.
“There is, I guess, you can say a connection with Conor, where I’ve beaten every other champion in my division, and Conor was the featherweight champion as well,” Volkanovski continued. “And as I said, I want to cement myself as the GOAT in my division. And let’s be honest, there’s always going to be Conor McGregor fans and they’re gonna keep bringing him up and throwing him out there in the conversations. So, to go out there and sort of just show the world that I am the greatest featherweight of all time, that would be a big fight for me. And obviously then you’re talking about the circus around it, the promotion and just everything about it, a money fight. You name it. It would be a big opportunity and fun fight. And it makes sense because, again, I want that GOAT status.”
Volkanovski won’t be in a position to talk about McGregor — who battles Dustin Poirier at UFC 257 this weekend in Abu Dhabi — until he first gets past top contender Brian Ortega. Like Holloway, “T-City” looked reborn in his most recent outing, a lopsided decision victory over featherweight “Zombie” Chan Sung Jung. As of this writing, the Volkanovski-Ortega bout is targeted for UFC 260 on March 27 in a city to be determined.