Max Holloway put on a masterful performance last weekend at UFC Vegas 42 (watch highlights), defeating Yair Rodriguez in another “Fight of the Year” candidate that kept him right at the top of the Featherweight division under champion Alexander Volkanovski. Unfortunately for “Blessed,” the two have already fought twice with the champ winning both fights. By razor thin decision, many will argue. But the score is still 0-2 Volkanovski, leaving Max in a bit of limbo.
Maybe Max realizes that, which is why he’s in no rush to demand a third fight against Alexander “The Great.” He’s happy calling out lightweight champ Charles Oliveira, who he has a win over. And Conor McGregor, who is an obvious enough money fight. He sounded completely indifferent to re-matching Volkanovski, which the Australian noted in a recent interview on The MMA Hour.
“No, I’m not surprised, I’m not surprised,” he said. “I’m the champ! You can say whatever you want, you can push all the bulls**t narrative you want but at the end of the day, you’re 0-2 and you’re trying to act like, ‘oh yeah, we’ll see’. Mate, you don’t want it? Don’t worry about it! I’ll get the next guy, there are plenty of people waiting.”
“Stop playing the games and all the bulls—t, let the UFC know you don’t want it, hurry up. We’ll see who’s next.”
And just to make it clear, Volkanovski is more than happy to get Holloway, “out of the way” as UFC President, Dana White, put it after Max’s win.
“I think he is the second best guy in the division,” Volkanovski said. “I want the best guy, Max is proving that he’s still the best guy, obviously that last was a very close fight. So he’s making it out to be like, ‘Oh yeah I’m the big dog’, as if I’m gonna chase the fight. But the way he’s going, I’m about to go, ‘Henry Cejudo, you want it? C’mon let’s do it then’.”
Volkanovski went even further in a video he put up on YouTube titled, “Is Max Holloway running?”
“The only one that’s talking about other options is Max Holloway,” he said. “This may rattle a few feathers, but I’m going to leave you with this: am I saying he’s scared? Maybe. But I want yous to hear me out here. For Max, this is a big deal. You fight me again ... and lose? And go 0-3 against me? In the featherweight division, in your prime? Max in his prime? We’re talking about legacy, your name isn’t in GOAT conversation any more.”
“It’s in G.O.A.T. conversation now, even though he’s 0-2 against me, there’s still people throwing him into the GOAT conversation. He loses again? We know ... no more. His legacy in the featherweight division — tarnished.”
It sounds like Volkanovski is throwing down the gauntlet, one that we doubt Holloway will hesitate to take up. Alex makes a bunch of good points regarding how important this fight would be for Max’s legacy, but Holloway has never shied away from a challenge ... we’re talking about a guy who once agreed to move up a weight class to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov last minute.
That fight fell apart, but Max was ready. And with Alex down to grant him a third title fight, I think we got ourselves the next 145-pound title fight pretty much locked in.