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Morning Report: Alexander Volkanovski on Max Holloway: ‘It would be silly to do a rematch right away’

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Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Two weeks ago, at UFC 251, Alexander Volkanovski successfully defended his title with a split decision win over former champion Max Holloway. As many split decisions are, the win was controversial, with a number of fans, media members, and even Dana White believing Holloway had done enough to reclaim the featherweight title. Controversial or not though, Volkanovski is now officially 2-0 versus Holloway and the featherweight champion is not looking to make it 3-0 anytime soon.

Speaking with ESPN recently, Volkanovski discussed the hard-fought win over Holloway and shot down the idea that the two men run it back for a third time.

“At this point, right now, it doesn’t make sense,” Volkanovski said. “To win back to back, I did say (that I wanted to beat him decisively), obviously leading up to the fight, trying to hype the fight up, but we all know Max is durable. So we’re well aware that taking him out is difficult to do. But at the same time, the majority of the rounds out of the two fights clearly show that I won seven or eight of them. Again, very competitive rounds so you’ve got to give credit to Max but at the same time, winning two back to back, it would be silly to do a rematch.”

That’s not so say that Volkanovski is opposed to ever facing Holloway again. After spending 50 minutes in a cage with “Blessed” he wants to face other challengers, but if Holloway keeps beating other top guys, Volkanovski says he’d happily greet him a third time.

“I said as soon as I got the belt, I want number one contenders,” Volkanovksi said. “I want the guys that are next in line. So if Max takes a few guys out and there is no one else left and it’s him, he’s that number one guy, I’ll take that fight. Again, that’s what I want to do. I’m an easy champion to understand. I want number one contenders, plain and simple. No beating around the bush. Give me the guys that are next in line, the guys that deserve it, and let’s go.”

The problem being for Volkanovski, at least right now, is that there are not any clear-cut number one contenders. Featherweight is one of the deepest and most exciting divisions in MMA, and as such, there are a number of viable options but no one that stands head and shoulders above the other contenders. That being said, there are a couple of fights on the horizon that Volkanovski has circled as likely producing his next test.

“Look, there’s a couple of guys that their names are getting thrown around a fair bit,” Volkanovski said. “You’ve got (Chan Sung Jung, the Korean) Zombie and Zabit Magomedsharipov. I think they’re pretty big fights but again, they’re both probably just one fight away from getting that title shot. I’ve heard Zabit’s planned to fight Yair Rodriguez and Zombie is planning on fighting Brian Ortega. They are two massive fights. Whoever wins them and wins in wild fashion, I’m sure everyone will be screaming their name. Everyone is gonna be saying, ‘That’s the guy.’ Everyone is going to be hyping that fight up and that’s gonna be the fight that everyone wants to see.

“I just think those are the biggest fights and make the most sense, but we’ll just have to play it out. I just fought. I don’t need an opponent right now. I’ve still got time to let this division play out. So we’ll just wait and see and hopefully, I’ll have someone by the end of the year.”

Volkanovski has a record of 22-1 in MMA and is currently the seventh-ranked pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC.


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VIDEO STEW

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LISTEN UP

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SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Kevin Holland (17-5) vs. Trevin Giles (12-2); UFC Fight Night, Aug. 1.

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FINAL THOUGHTS

It’s upon us. The final weekend of Fight Island. Overall, it’s been a fun, if normal, couple of weeks and the card tomorrow is quite strong. I hope everyone has enjoyed it as much as I have. Have a great weekend and see y’all on Monday.


EXIT POLL

Poll

Who wins this weekend?

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  • 69%
    Whittaker
    (739 votes)
  • 30%
    Till
    (321 votes)
1060 votes total Vote Now

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