UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski admits he finds it annoying that people are still pining for a trilogy fight between himself and Max Holloway.
Volkanovski most recently defended his featherweight title for the first time following a close split decision win over Holloway in their rematch at UFC 251 in July.
However, many observers felt Holloway did enough to earn the win, especially as he dropped the Aussie in both the first and second round. That said, Volkanovski definitely improved in the final three rounds which is what ultimately won him the fight.
That made it two wins over Holloway and as far as Volkanovski is concerned, he was the deserving winner on the second occasion. The only problem is people are too focused on him getting dropped in the early rounds to appreciate just how high-level a contest it was.
“It is annoying. People just quickly forget,” Volkanovski told SCMP MMA. “All they remember is the close fight we had last July. That’s all they remember. It was a close fight. It was very competitive. Max showed up early. I didn’t really show up.
“Luckily enough, I’m so well rounded and I’ve got that grit, I’m going to push myself. I ain’t going make excuses but if there was going to be a day that Max Holloway was going to beat me, that was the day. Let me just put that out there. And I was still able to steal the last three rounds so that just shows you how good I am. But people are going to forget that too.
“So again, it is annoying but at the same time, I understand it. It was a close fight. It was a very competitive fight and it was two of the best going at it. There’s a lot of hate but at the same time, there are so many people who appreciate two of the guys at the highest level having this chess match. A lot of people are missing that and they don’t realize that what they got to see was fucking rare. It is rare to see two of the highest level figuring each other out and really adjusting every minute. The fight IQ that was involved in both our fights was just incredible and people are missing that because obviously they see the first two rounds and that’s all they remember.”
For now, it appears Volkanovski is set to face someone new in Brian Ortega who is coming off an impressive win over The Korean Zombie in October.
And cleaning out the division by beating guys like Ortega is more important to “The Great” than appeasing the casuals and fighting Holloway again.
“I understand it [the desire for a trilogy] but come on, I ain’t going to keep rematching him till he wins,” Volkanovski added.
You can watch the full interview below:
Combat sports fan who loves a good body shot.