Khabib Predicts UFC 276’s Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway 3

Max Holloway & Alexander Volkanovski

Getty Max Holloway & Alexander Volkanovski

The highly anticipated trilogy bout between UFC featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway goes down this weekend, and Khabib Nurmagomedov is picking Volkanovski to win.

Volkanovski (24-1) and Holloway (23-6) are touted as the two best active featherweights in the promotion and their clash will serve as the co-main event for UFC 276 on July 2 in Las Vegas.

Volkanovski has edged “Blessed” on the scorecards twice in the past.

They first met at UFC 245 in December 2019 and after the fight fell into the judges’ hands, Volkanovski took Holloway’s 145-pound strap by unanimous decision. The result wasn’t without controversy, however, as some in the MMA community scored the competition for Holloway.

Holloway received an instant rematch with “The Great” around seven months later at UFC 251 and once again, Volkanovski left the Octagon as the featherweight champion via split decision. This decision was much more controversial than the first, with several pundits and fans scoring the battle for the former champion.

Since their second fight, both men have fought twice.

Blessed has earned two back-to-back main event victories over Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez, besting them by unanimous decision. On the other end, The Great has rattled off two consecutive title defenses, decisioning Brian Ortega and taking out Chan Sung Jung via fourth-round TKO.

Nurmagomedov Thinks Volkanovski Has ‘More Fire’ Than Blessed

Nurmagomedov sees Volkanovski earning a clean sweep over Holloway. The former UFC lightweight champion pointed to Volkanovski having “a little bit more fire” than Holloway, which could be the difference-maker.

“About Holloway-Volkanovski, I must say I’m really impressed with Volkanovski about his last couple of performances,” Nurmagomedov said in a recent video shared by the UFC (h/t MMA Junkie). “I like Max Holloway. I like him. This is nothing personal, but I think Volkanovski’s going to defend his title. It’s a question: how?

“Who knows. But I see he (stays busier), fights all the time, experience – maybe experience. Like a little bit more fire. I feel he has a little bit more fire than Max Holloway.”

Volkanovski Feels Likes He’s ‘Earned’ a UFC Lightweight Title Fight

Ahead of UFC 274’s lightweight tilt between Charles Oliveira vs. Justin Gaethje in May, Volkanovski spoke with “Morning Kombat’s” Luke Thomas about the 155-pound division. And in short, The Great believes his resume is impressive enough to warrant him an immediate title fight north of 145 pounds.

“I want this title fight. I called for it because I think I earned it,” Volkanovski said via CBS Sports. “We’re seeing guys get the chance at a second title for much less than what I’ve done. I don’t think I’ll waste my time unless it is for the belt.

“Obviously, I’ll talk to my team and see what they think but, I mean, when you’re doing stuff like that as well then you’re taking pay cuts for that. I think I’m in a position where I can at least ask for that. If it’s not this fight, maybe the next fight. But I believe I’m in a good position and I don’t think I need to try and climb the ladder with where I’m at. I’m undefeated at lightweight too, remember that. I’m defeated at middleweight.”

When The Mac Life’s Oscar Willis asked UFC president Dana White about Volkanovski’s lightweight desire, White responded: “I’m down for whatever he wants.”

Of course, Volkanovski will have to first get past Holloway for the third time.

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