clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Alexander Volkanovski happy to send Max Holloway packing to lightweight after UFC 245

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Alexander Volkanovski takes no offense to Max Holloway looking toward the future after UFC 245. He might even make the decision about what comes next easier.

In the days leading up to Saturday night’s card featuring three title fights, Holloway has addressed potential boxing matches and long-term plans to again test the waters at lightweight. He’s also teased moving to heavier divisions if the right opportunities are presented.

Some might say that Holloway is looking past the challenge that stands directly in front of him, but Volkanovski doesn’t see it that way. The former rugby player turned MMA fighter understands that talking about what comes next is just a natural part of the sport.

That’s why he’ll generously assist Holloway in the move to lightweight by relieving him of the 20-pound title he’s currently carrying.

“There’s nothing wrong with looking ahead,” Volkanovski said on Wednesday at the UFC 245 Athlete Panel. “It doesn’t mean he’s looking through me. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t think I’m a challenge. We’re always looking ahead. I do the same. Obviously, he’s cutting a lot of weight. Obviously, he’s talking about that.

“But like I said, I’ll make that decision easier for him. Again, I don’t mean that with any cockiness, but I’m confident I’m going to get the win. He was a great champion at featherweight, but now it’s my time.”

Volkanovski has shown a lot of confidence heading into his fight with Holloway despite the 28-year-old Hawaiian rattling off 14 straight wins in the division dating back to 2014.

While Holloway hasn’t run into many bumps in the road during that long undefeated run at featherweight, Volkanovski has seen some tendencies and weaknesses that he looks to exploit where other fighters have failed.

“I’d be lying if I said he wasn’t a great champion,” Volkanovski said. “He’s very well-rounded still; obviously he’s got good takedown defense and all that sort of stuff. But I’m going to approach things a little bit different. The things that he does so well and worked for him so well in his past fights are just things I don’t believe are going to work as well with me.

“So obviously he’s got his punching and volume, his gas tank, and all these sort of things. These are things that I don’t believe are big threats to me. Obviously, I’ve got the gas tank. If he really wants to come forward at me and try to break me, he’s just going to fall into my game. I’m too powerful to force that sort of game plan on me.”

Assuming everything goes well at UFC 245, Volkanovski will gladly root for Holloway to pursue a second title in a different division after giving up the featherweight belt.

“He can move up and maybe try and take out that lightweight title,” Volkanovski said. “Saturday night, it’s going to be my night. That belt’s changing hand.

“He cuts a lot of weight. Maybe don’t stress your body anymore, and I’ll stay champ from here.”’

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting