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Max Holloway fires back at critics claiming he’s done after third loss to Alexander Volkanovski: ‘Y’all must’ve forgot’

Max Holloway was down after his third loss to Alexander Volkanovski but that doesn’t mean he’s out of the title picture much less giving up hope that he will eventually earn a fourth fight against the reigning UFC featherweight champion.

As he prepares to return at UFC Kansas City on Saturday, Holloway fired back at critics who seem to think he’s suddenly past his prime just because he failed to beat Volkanovski in their most recent encounter. In fact, Holloway promises that he’s more fired up than ever to prove the doubters wrong, which is exactly what he intends to do in his fight against Arnold Allen.

“[I need to] make a statement,” Holloway said during media day at UFC Kansas City. “That’s in my mind. Just remind people. I guess I got a little Roy Jones in me. Y’all must’ve forgot.

“I’m hearing everybody talking, hearing the critics, hearing the media, hearing all the social media people talking. I just can’t wait to go out there and show out.”

While Holloway knows it’s not going to be easy to get back to Volkanovski with an 0-3 record against him thus far, he’s not giving up hope.

He actually just witnessed Israel Adesanya exorcise similar demons when he knocked out Alex Pereira at UFC 287 after Adesanya fell to the Brazilian three separate times across kickboxing and MMA. That fight alone proved to Holloway that not only can he get back to Volkanovski, but that he can finally slay his supposed boogeyman.

“I’m still here,” Holloway said. “I’m right here, right in front of him. People keep giving me a hard time ‘how are we going to do the fourth [fight]?’ and blah, blah, blah, this and that. Watching [Israel Adesanya] last week it was pretty inspiring.

“This is MMA. At the end of the day, anything can happen. I go out there and put a statement out there, who’s to say what happens.”

With 30 fights on his resume and nearly 13 years banked as a professional fighter, Holloway knows that an MMA career will often be filled with ups and downs.

Holloway admits the volatility in MMA can produce some difficult results and unlike other sports, there’s rarely a chance to immediately bounce back from a bad night at the office.

“I explain to everyone, MMA is a rough sport,” Holloway said. “We’re not basketball. We’re not baseball. We’re not football. Basketball, I can go shoot from the line, [go] 0-12, two days later, three days later, you’ve got a game and you can go off for 32 points. We’re in a sport where we fight, we are lucky to fight twice a year. There’s months in between. Some people are lucky to enough to fight maybe two weeks [apart] or whatever but that’s a dime a dozen.

“We’re in a sport where it takes time sometimes. It takes time and you’re only as good as you’re last fight. That’s what it is. I can’t wait to go out there and make this my next fight a great one.”

For anyone questioning where Holloway fits in the division, he’s quick to shut down the idea that he’s just fighting for a paycheck or somehow standing on his last legs.

The 31-year-old Hawaiian insists that if he just wanted some money in his bank account, there are far easier fights to take than someone like Allen, widely considered one of the top featherweights in the sport — tied for the No. 5 spot in the MMA Fighting Global Rankings — and currently riding a 12-fight unbeaten streak.

“If being the champion wasn’t my motivation, if being the greatest wasn’t my motivation, why would I take this fight?” Holloway said. “If I was in it to just fight or even to get money grabs, I’d take easier fights.

“I’m fighting the guy who they’re talking about is next in title contention. A lot of guys thought that he should have got the interim title. So at the end of the day, to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best and the best is ‘Blessed.’”

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