Max Holloway doesn’t give a F@$% about belt, wants Alexander Volkanovski trilogy

Max Holloway beat Anthony Pettis for the interim featherweight belt in 2017, beat defending champ Jose Aldo to unify the belts, and won the immediate rematch, and then successfully defended it again vs. Brian Ortega, winning four performance bonuses in four fights. Then “Blessed” stepped up on short notice to fight Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight belt, coming up short, but earning yet another performance bonus. He returned to 145 and beat Frankie Edgar, but thereafter things went south.

Holloway lost the belt to Alexander Volkanovski via a close but unanimous decision, and in the immediate rematch, lost a highly-controversial Split Decision. During a recent interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Holloway said he’s open to fighting Volkanovski 100 times if necessary. 

“It is what it was,” said Holloway, as he did immediately after the loss. “Me personally, I don’t really think it matters if I won the fight. What matters most to me is how most people think. Dana White doesn’t call me up after the fight and be like, ‘Hey kid, did you think you won the fight?’

“It doesn’t matter what I think, but the UFC, you guys, the world, they can see, 80 to 90 percent of the world thinks I won, and that’s what matters to them and that’s what matters to me. Whatever job you have at the end of the day, what do you care about is what you’ve got to ask yourself. You care about money, you care about the company, but what else? For me, you care about respect. Respect from your peers…

“After the fight, I could see my peers and what they would say and they were sticking their necks out for me. These aren’t fans, this is fighters. Actual other fighters. It’s Jorge, Nate, it’s Dustin, Justin, the list goes on. Even Ali and the Kawas. All these guys cannot agree on what color the sky is but they agreed on one thing that night.”

UFC president Dana White floated the idea of a trilogy fight, but Volkanovski said he won twice, in a row, and wanted other challenges. Holloway, however, is still game.

“If it was Kobe and Michael, they would play 10 times just to let people know who the best is,” he said. “That’s the mentality I strive for. I strive for that mentality. If you want to run it back 100 times, we can do it. But I’m going to show you that I am the better guy – but that’s just the mentality. I don’t know what kind of mentality they have, what they seek and whatever, but that’s something they’ve got to figure out and they’ve got to do. I know what I want to do, I know what kind of legacy I want to leave when it’s all said and done.”

Volkanovski hasn’t fought since the SD in July. Holloway fights Calvin Kattar in the main event of UFC on ESPN+ 42 on January 16, 2021. With a win, Holloway still wants what he wants, not the belt, but getting a win over “The Great.”

“I’m just a competitor,” said Holloway. “The belt is the belt. I never cared about it when I had it. I don’t care that it’s gone. I’ve got five of them downstairs, I don’t really give a f***. I’m a competitor and this guy is sitting at a place that’s not right with me. I don’t feel like it’s right. Are we gonna fight again? It’s up to him, but if I had it my way, I’ll fight you 10 times in one night, I don’t care. I’ll fight you 10 times once a month. I’m a competitor. I need to compete. I truly believe I was put on this earth to fight and compete.”

h/t Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting

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