At UFC 251, Max Holloway came up short in his rematch with featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, losing a controversial split decision to the champion. After the bout, Holloway clearly felt he had done enough to reclaim the title but accepted the loss with his trademark “it is what it is” view. Five months later, his view remains the same and Holloway is left taking solace in the belief that his colleagues agree he should have won the fight.
“It is what it was,” Holloway told ESPN. “Me personally, I don’t really think it matters if I won the fight. What matters most to me is how most people think. Dana White doesn’t call me up after the fight and be like, ‘Hey kid, did you think you won the fight?’
“It doesn’t matter what I think, but the UFC, you guys, the world, they can see, 80 to 90 percent of the world thinks I won, and that’s what matters to them and that’s what matters to me. Whatever job you have at the end of the day, what do you care about is what you’ve got to ask yourself. You care about money, you care about the company, but what else? For me, you care about respect. Respect from your peers. . .
“After the fight, I could see my peers and what they would say and they were sticking their necks out for me. These aren’t fans, this is fighters. Actual other fighters. It’s Jorge (Masvidal), Nate (Diaz), it’s Dustin (Poirier), Justin (Gaethje), the list goes on. Even Ali (Abdelaziz) and the Kawas. All these guys cannot agree on what color the sky is but they agreed on one thing that night.”
After the fight that evening, many fighters and fans did come out in support of Holloway and a majority of media members scored the fight for him. UFC President Dana White even suggested the possibility of a third fight between the two since the outcome was so controversial, however, Volkanovski was quick to shoot that idea down, saying that he’d already beaten Max twice and wanted to take on new challengers before facing him for a third time. For Holloway though, this is a matter of settling the issue. There is clearly still controversy about who is the better fighter and he would like to resolve it, no matter how many fights it takes.
“If it was Kobe (Bryant) and Michael (Jordan), they would play 10 times just to let people know who the best is,” Holloway said. “That’s the mentality I strive for. I strive for that mentality. If you want to run it back 100 times, we can do it. But I’m going to show you that I am the better guy – but that’s just the mentality. I don’t know what kind of mentality they have, what they seek and whatever, but that’s something they’ve got to figure out and they’ve got to do. I know what I want to do, I know what kind of legacy I want to leave when it’s all said and done.”
In the future, Holloway may well get his chance. However, for now, “Blessed” has other things in his line of sight, namely, a main event fight against sixth-ranked Calvin Kattar in January. But, should Max win in January, he knows the idea of a third fight with the champ isn’t going anywhere and eventually he will get a chance to square up with Volkanovski one more time.
“I’m just a competitor,” Holloway said. “The belt is the belt. I never cared about it when I had it. I don’t care that it’s gone. I’ve got five of them downstairs, I don’t really give a f*ck. I’m a competitor and this guy is sitting at a place that’s not right with me. I don’t feel like it’s right. Are we gonna fight again? It’s up to him, but if I had it my way, I’ll fight you 10 times in one night, I don’t care. I’ll fight you 10 times once a month. I’m a competitor. I need to compete. I truly believe I was put on this earth to fight and compete.”
Champion. Aleandro Caetano gets knocked out by illegal upkick, wins Shooto Brasil title.
A look at Paul Felder’s fight on five days’ notice.
Chael on the lightweight title picture.
Fights Gone By. Discussing UFC 256, the best card of the year.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Tony Ferguson makes a statement.
Coker feeling good.
It just keeps getting better and better.— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) December 14, 2020
Well, here we go.
Out of pocket— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) December 15, 2020
Jake Paul u need your ass beat for free u spoiled fuck u can’t really fight dumbshit your gonna end up with your ass whooped for real somewhere talking like that— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) December 15, 2020
You saw what happened to the other Nate. https://t.co/Uq5LY2tQaS— Jake Paul (@jakepaul) December 15, 2020
@LoganPaul check this little ho bitch before someone does— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) December 15, 2020
Chase on his performance.
The craziest part for me about last weekend was everyone calling it a huge comeback finish. I feel like part of that was the commentary bias, along with the assumption that because I’m me, my striking is going to be worse than the other guy no matter what I do. pic.twitter.com/DKnyZby2m2— Chase Hooper (@chase_hooper) December 15, 2020
These are the numbers directly from @espn, and they show that I led number-wise in every category. Now not to say that I was winning, just that it was closer than everybody is saying. The two other factors that I believe also led to people thinking I was losing were that— Chase Hooper (@chase_hooper) December 15, 2020
a). Peter had the leg kicks, which were excellent, and I should’ve been checking earlier. b). He had was the cage control because his style is more forward pressing and I was trying to use my length. Aside from those two things, at a minimum the rounds were close.— Chase Hooper (@chase_hooper) December 15, 2020
I’m not saying I should’ve even won those rounds, I just think that people are making it seem like it was this huge beating that I took, when I don’t have a scratch on me. I know I still have a lot to improve on, but I don’t think that I’m getting the credit for what— Chase Hooper (@chase_hooper) December 15, 2020
I’ve fixed with my striking and defense since the last fight, and over my career as a whole. At the end of the day it doesn’t really matter because a win is a win, but I just felt like I needed to address it after watching the fight back myself both with and without commentary.— Chase Hooper (@chase_hooper) December 15, 2020
Once I’m locked in mentally, Only one will make it out... And that will be Me pic.twitter.com/d3dyG1LhKp— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) December 14, 2020
We about to find out soon! https://t.co/4vKSMTKN7o— GILBERT BURNS DURINHO (@GilbertDurinho) December 14, 2020
Ready to go.
I guess we will have to do 6 fights in 2021. But ya never know. I got the itch to compete again before the end of this month! pic.twitter.com/NrwKtvLcVh— Kevin Holland (@Trailblaze2top) December 15, 2020
“It doesn’t matter what I think but what everyone else thinks,” - Max Holloway, undoing everything I was taught as a child.
Thanks for reading, enjoy the fights, and see y’all tomorrow.
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