Fans shouldn’t hold their breath for the highly anticipated trilogy match between UFC featherweight champion Alexander “The Great” Volkanovsi and former champ Max “Blessed” Holloway. In a recent interview with ESPN, Volkanovski shot down the idea of another immediate rematch for Holloway.
After Volkanovski defeated Holloway and claimed the featherweight strap at UFC 245 in December 2019, Blessed received an immediate rematch. The Great defeated Holloway by unanimous decision but some scored the bout for Holloway, and because he had been so dominant at featherweight up until that point, the UFC decided to run the fight back.
The two competitors met in July for a rematch. They fought in the co-main event of UFC 251 on July 11, and the fight once again went to decision. Volkanovski walked out of the Octagon as the victor with the strap, this time winning by split decision.
Even though many viewers scored the bout for Holloway, Volkanovski is not prepared to give the former champ another immediate rematch.
Volkanovski told ESPN that offering another rematch to Blessed wouldn’t make sense at this point. He said that although most of the 10 rounds that they’ve shared in the Octagon together have been competitive, it would be “silly” to do a trilogy fight right away as he won the majority of them.
He said (h/t MMA Fighting):, “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.”
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Volkanovski Is Willing to Fight Holloway Again But Wants Him to Win a Few Fights First
The Great is not opposed to fighting Holloway again, but he wants Blessed to earn a couple of victories before receiving another title shot. Volkanovski said:
I said as soon as I got the belt, I want number one contenders. 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.
There are 2 Featherweight Bouts That May Determine Volkaovski’s Next Opponent
There are two featherweight bouts that could potentially determine the next title challenger in the featherweight division. On August 29, No. 2 ranked featherweight Zabit Magomedsharipov will take on No. 5 Yair Rodriguez at UFC Fight Night 176.
No. 3 ranked Brian Ortega is linked to No. 4 ranked “Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung for a fight, however nothing has been scheduled.
Volkanovski told ESPN: “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.”