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Morning Report: Alexander Volkanovski wants rematch with Max Holloway ‘to solidify myself as the best featherweight of all-time’

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

For six years, Jose Aldo was the undisputed top featherweight in the world, defending his title nine times and establishing himself as one of the greatest fighters ever. Then Max Holloway beat him twice and UFC commentator Joe Rogan anointed Holloway “The Greatest Featherweight of All Time”. And now, Alexander Volkanovski is trying to pull the same maneuver on “Blessed”.

Volkanovski won the UFC featherweight title by claiming a unanimous decision over Holloway at UFC 245 in December. Since then, the champ has been on the mend, recovering from a broken hand suffered in the fight. But Volkanovski was recently cleared to return to full training and he’s ready to get back in there this summer, and attempt to claim the 145 GOAT title with another win over Holloway.]

“Obviously that’s what UFC wants, Dana White’s saying that’s what he wants, and I think I want it,” Volkanovski told TMZ Sports recently when asked about a Holloway rematch next. “I want that fight, because there’s no clear No. 1 contenders, and I just think that he’s a great champion. For me, the biggest fight in my career right now to solidify myself as the best featherweight of all-time, and one of the greatest of all-time. I go and take out Max twice in [his] prime, people are gonna give me that respect I deserve.”

The man certainly deserves a ton of respect. In his eight-year career, Volkanovski has amassed a 21-1 record with wins over Holloway, Aldo, and Chad Mendes. Now, as the newly crowned champion, it’s his turn to call the shots and for his first title defense, “The Great” wants to defend his belt at home.”

“I want to fight on home soil in Perth,” Volkanovski said. “I don’t want to wait around until there’s a clear number one. I think Max does deserve it, he was a great champion. The UFC want it, Australian fans will want it, and I think everyone else will want that so I reckon we’ll make it happen.

“I don’t want to sit on the sidelines too long, and I want to defend my belt in Australia. That Perth card is June 6. We’re gonna make it happen, I reckon.”

UFC 251 is currently set to take place in Perth, Austrtalia on June 6 and the rematch has been rumored to be taking place on that card, but this was before the coronavirus spread into a global pandemic. Still, the proposed date is over two months away and, given the UFC’s insistence on continuing operations as best they can in these trying times, it seems likely that the card will take place.

And if it does, the new champ has a message for the old one: things won’t be any different in June than they were in December.

“Nothing but respect [to Max],” Volkanovski said. “You’re the man and you’re well-loved because of that. I feel I’m the same way. We’re both respectful. But, you really want this fight? I just done it five rounds and I guarantee you it ain’t gonna change. I’m either finishing it or I’m winning the exact same way. I know you’re durable, but I reckon I can put you away.”


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Who would win the rematch?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    Max Holloway
    (529 votes)
  • 43%
    Alexander Volkanovski
    (414 votes)
943 votes total Vote Now

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