Losing is never easy, especially when an athlete is at the pinnacle of his or her sport. Losing with class, though, is just a bit harder.
But if you’re looking for a model fighter who knows how to take his lumps like a true sport (other than this guy), it’s Max Holloway. After coming up short to Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 245 last Saturday (Dec. 14, 2019) in Las Vegas, Nevada (recap), “Blessed” issued a classy message to “The Great” a couple days after.
“He was willing to fight for an interim belt. If he couldn’t fight me he was willing to fight anybody even fighters ranked below him,” Holloway wrote on Instagram. “When you’re a champ everybody is below you so Alex was carrying the weight of that belt before Dana wrapped it around his waist. Happy for Alex and Emma and their daughters, and Australia. Same ocean, different waves. See you in the lineup again.”
And of course, real recognizes real:
Respect!! https://t.co/DBaW5V1Wa6— Alex Volkanovski (@alexvolkanovski) December 17, 2019
The loss was Holloway’s first in more than six years at Featherweight, ending his reign as the 145-pound champion, which saw him defend the title three times against Jose Aldo, Brian Ortega and Frankie Edgar.
While it would seem logical to give Holloway an instant rematch — which Volkanovski is willing to do — the Hawaiian-born fighter is non-committal at the moment.
Should Holloway not get a rematch, then perhaps Chan Sung Jung could sneak in to a title fight with an impressive win over Frankie Edgar this Saturday (Dec. 21, 2019) at UFC Busan. If not, then Zabit Magomedsharipov could be up next.