UFC President, Dana White, is fully on board with the idea of his Featherweight champion moving up in weight.
Alexander Volkanovski became an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion in Dec. 2019, defeating Max Holloway via an impressive unanimous decision (watch highlights). Immediately after, the two ran the fight back in a much closer affair, but ultimately, Volkanovski remained the 145-pound kingpin, walking away with his hand raised earning a split decision nod (watch highlights). Two ultra-impressive title defenses later over the likes of Brian Ortega and Chan Sung Jung, and the champ has played with the idea of pursuing gold at 155 pounds.
However, he must first make it through Holloway a third time as the two begin round 11 next weekend (Sat., July 2, 2022) at UFC 276 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Volkanovski is one of those guys who has earned the respect of everybody by now,” White told The Mac Life (h/t MMA Junkie). “It probably makes sense to do this (Holloway trilogy) and put this behind him, and then you don’t have to hear about it anymore. That guy can do whatever he wants to do. If he wants to move up and challenge somebody at ‘55 or whatever he wants to do, I’m down for whatever he wants.”
Since his last loss to Volkanovski in July 2020, Holloway has seemingly leveled up beyond his already phenomenal status as champion. The 30-year-old Hawaiian’s exhilarating five-round performances against Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez last year were arguably two of his greatest in 23 overall victories.
During his reign, Holloway attempted success at Lightweight when getting a shot in a rematch against Dustin Poirier in April 2019 for the interim title. Coming up short via unanimous decision (watch highlights), Holloway came back down to Featherweight and defended his title a final time during his reign, defeating former Lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar (watch highlights).
Time will tell if Volkanovski will get the opportunity to be “Blessed” in a heavier weight class.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC 276 fight card right here, starting with the early ESPN+ “Prelims” matches online, which are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. ET, then the remaining undercard balance on ABC/ESPN+ at 8 p.m. ET, before the PPV main card start time at 10 p.m. ET on ESPN+ PPV.
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