If things keep going this way for Max Holloway, he may have to start suing MMA judges for emotional distress.
“Blessed” was actually in good spirits at the UFC 245 post-fight press conference in Las Vegas on Saturday shortly after losing a unanimous decision to Alexander Volkanovski that ended his streak of three consecutive featherweight title defenses and 14 straight wins at 145 pounds. But Holloway joked that after ending up on the wrong end of the scorecards for the second time this year (the other being a loss to Dustin Poirier this past April in a bout for an interim lightweight championship), he should know better than to rely on the judges.
“First round, I was feeling him out, so he did what he did in the first round,” Holloway said when asked how he thought the fight was going as it was happening. “Second round I thought I was taking over and then three, four, five, I thought was mine.
“But they saw it another way, there’s only three opinions that matter. Like the great Burt Watson said, don’t leave that s*it to the judges, they’re gonna make you cry. They made me cry twice in 2019, so let’s choo-choo forward to 2020, new year, new me.”
Holloway had nothing but respect for Volkanovski and he praised his opponent’s professionalism, both in his run to the title shot and his behavior in the lead-up to their fight. When the topic of a rematch was brought up, Holloway wouldn’t commit to calling for an immediate chance to regain his title nor would he say whether he was leaning towards attempting another move to lightweight.
“I’m gonna sit down with my team. Watch the tape. Sit down with Dana,” Holloway said. “If they hit me up, it is what it is, the fans make it happen, it is what it is. I’m a fighter, I fight. But it’s a team decision with me. It’s not a me thing. I’m not all about myself. My team got me here. I’m going to sit down with my team, talk to Dana, and we’ll go from there.”
The final scores in Saturday’s fight 48-47, 48-47, and 50-45 in Volkanovski’s favor, though it would be difficult for any numerical evaluation of the bout to express how close the contest was. Having not had a chance to review the game tape, Holloway couldn’t say exactly where he thought the judges may have been off base.
He could only speak of his own performance and his confidence in his ability to bounce back from this loss.
“I don’t want to sound like a sore loser. I didn’t watch no tape. I don’t know what happened,” Holloway said. “I felt like we was doing enough, but there’s three guys’ opinions that matter the most and they didn’t see it my way so at the end of the day it is what it is.
“We’ll be back. Like I said, I’m only 28. I’m only 28, guys, I’ll be back and we’ll be ready.”