UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski are among the very elite according to City Kickboxing head coach Eugene Bareman. That is why he is expecting a well-contested contest between the pair.
Holloway and Volkanovski will clash in the co-main event of UFC 245 this Saturday in Las Vegas. The former is the longtime champion undefeated in his previous 14 featherweight fights and having last suffered defeat in the division back in 2013.
Volkanovski, meanwhile, is undefeated with the promotion and is coming off big wins over Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo. “The Great” has not been shy in his confidence that he’ll be the one to end the “Blessed” era either and has claimed he’s a bad matchup for Holloway.
However, he is not the first featherweight to think that.
The difference with Volkanovski is that he is on the same level as Holloway compared to his previous opponents according to Bareman.
“I think, yeah,” Bareman told Combat TV when asked if Volkanovski can defeat Holloway. “Max is a special fighter. There is a very small percentage of fighters…you’re talking about the elite group…and then you grab a tiny percentage — the elite of the elite group. I think Alex is in that group as well. That’s why you’re going to see such a well-contested fight.
“But I think, through the knowledge that I have of Alex and knowing him for all these years, I think we’ve got the guy that can beat Max. So quietly confident but not overly confident. … The reason it’s not overconfident is a testament to Max because that’s a great fighter and we’re trying to dethrone him.”
Given City Kickboxing’s stellar record in 2019 that saw the likes of Israel Adesanya, Dan Hooker, and Kai Kara-France all shine with big victories, Volkanovski claiming UFC gold would cap off a great year for the New Zealand-based gym.