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Alexander Volkanovski admits it ‘was pretty silly’ to accuse Max Holloway of faking injury

UFC 251: Volkanovski v Holloway Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway were seemingly made to fight each other. With 10 rounds already in the books, they’ll need to keep waiting for the next five.

Volkanovski will defend his Featherweight crown against “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung at UFC 273 on April 9, 2022, in what was originally set to be the Holloway trilogy. Unfortunately for the proud Hawaiian, Holloway suffered an injury that forced him out of the bout.

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CHAMPIONSHIP DOUBLE DIP! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) returns to Phoenix, Ariz., on Sat., May 7, 2022, with a blockbuster championship doubleheader. Headlining the pay-per-view (PPV) event will be Lightweight champion, Charles Oliveira, seeking to defend his title against No. 1-ranked contender, Justin Gaethje. In UFC 274’s co-main event, women’s Strawweight champion, Rose Namajunas, looks to avenge her loss against No. 2-seeded, Carla Esparza. And top-ranked Lightweight contenders collide when Michael Chandler (No. 5) locks horns with Tony Ferguson (No. 7) in a fan-friendly 155-pound clash for the ages.

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What made things odd, and frustrating for Volkanovski, was that Holloway wound up healing in time to still make the scheduled fight date. Therefore, the champion’s initial reaction was that his rival had faked his misfortune.

“It was frustrating because at the time I really wanted that fight, you know what I mean, and once you heard he got injured, especially when they announced it earlier, it was all a bit confusing and frustrating,” Volkanovski told Submission Radio (h/t MMA Junkie).

“So you seen my frustration obviously. I wanted to tweet and have a little shot at Max and his fans, and that was the only reason, which was pretty silly on my behalf, to be honest. That just shows you where sort of my head was at back then, you know what I mean? That’s something that I’ve really been working on lately.”

Volkanovski has defended his title once since rematching Holloway in July 2020 when he earned a split decision victory (watch highlights). In the Australian’s last time out, he settled a feud with Brian Ortega that extended over the course of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 29. Ultimately, Volkanovski got the better of “T-City” in their five-round affair to earn a unanimous decision (watch highlights) that had fans picking sides throughout the build.

“I’m such a people pleaser, right? I always want people on my side and when they’re not, I take whatever they say to heart and all that type of stuff,” Volkanovski said. “So, I’ve always cared what haters said and like what all these people would say. So I always felt like I had something to prove and wanted to get back at him, but now I literally don’t give a F about any of that.”