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Morning Report: Max Holloway willing to fight ‘100 times’ if necessary to prove he’s better than Alexander Volkanovski

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Max Holloway
Max Holloway
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

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.”


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FINAL THOUGHTS

“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.


EXIT POLL

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