Max Holloway was booked to face reigning 145-pound titleholder Alex Volkanovski at the upcoming UFC 272 pay-per-view (PPV) event on March 5 in Las Vegas, but shortly after their trilogy was announced, “Blessed” withdrew from the contest and the bout was scrapped.
Volkanovski was later rebooked to face longtime featherweight contender Chan Sung Jung, this time at UFC 273 in April, not long before Holloway — who failed to disclosed his initial injury — suddenly resurfaced to insist he was healthy and medically cleared to compete.
“[Holloway] wants to be the backup fighter for the fight he was originally scheduled to fight,” Volkanovski wrote on Twitter. “So in other words … he was never injured. Just hoping he doesn’t have to fight me or fight me while I’m preparing for someone [else] … but hey ‘if you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying’ … NO.”
Volkanovski captured the featherweight title by defeating Holloway at UFC 245 back in late 2019, but his second victory over the “Blessed” Hawaiian at UFC 251 was overshadowed by a scoring controversy and rumblings that Holloway should have been declared the winner.
Holloway has been campaigning to serve as the back-up fighter for UFC 273 in case Volkanovski or Jung get injured or succumb to COVID-19 during fight week, but it doesn’t sound like “The Great” is fond of switching gears for a new opponent on super short notice.