Alexander Volkanovski says there is more than just the UFC featherweight title on the line in his trilogy fight against Max Holloway at UFC 276
Though the middleweight title fight between Israel Adesanya and Jared Cannonier will be headlining UFC 276, there is just as much, if not more, hype around the evening’s co-main event. That will feature Alexander Volkanovksi and Max Holloway meeting one more time for the UFC featherweight championship.
Both men have, at one level or another, started to carve out a legacy for themselves in the Octagon. Both have long winning streaks in the sport. Both hold victories over some big names in this sport. Both have been (or in Volkanovski’s case, currently is) featherweight champion. Both have earned the respect and praise of fans.
With the two having shared the Octagon before and going on similar paths in the chase to be the greatest of all time at featherweight, Holloway feels this trilogy encounter will go a long way for both men’s legacy.
The defending champion agreed.
“This is still a legacy fight, 100 percent,” Volkanovski said at his UFC 276 media day scrum. “He showed that he’s still the number one guy. People are saying he’s gotten better. So this is definitely a legacy fight. That’s why we wanted this fight. If I felt like this wouldn’t put me in a better position moving forward, you wouldn’t take it. But it does. You all want to see it, right? Everyone wants to see the trilogy. So that’s a legacy fight. People want to see it. I was open to it; I wanted it as well. So if that’s going to move me forward, let’s do it.”
Alexander Volkanovski reflects on previous two battles with Max Holloway heading into UFC 276 trilogy fight
The first bout between Volkanovski and Holloway was a one-sided affair, with Volkanovski puzzling and proving to be too much for Holloway, allowing for a new featherweight champion to be crowned at UFC 245.
The second fight, at UFC 251, was a much different story. Holloway got off to a strong start and took the first two rounds, but Volkanovski fought back hard to bring the fight to a deciding fifth round.
It was there two judges awarded the round, and subsequently the fight, to Volkanovski, bringing about a lot of controversy and debate that still lingers.
Volkanovski feels the controversial decision, unfortunately, takes away from the back-and-forth battle the two had.
“People are going to miss the chess match that was happening,” Volkanovski said. “The adjustments he made in between the fights, the adjustments I made mid-fight, and all that type of stuff was pretty incredible. It’s very impressive, but you know, that sometimes will be missed when you have close fights.”
Some may feel that this trilogy bout doesn’t hold as much as others in the sport, given that Volkanovski has won both fights thus far and the two don’t have heated, confrontational, vulgar confrontations.
And yet, according to Volkanovski, the fact that both are popular with fans, proven to be the best in their division, and are both sitting high in the UFC’s pound-for-pound men’s rankings (Volkanovski at No. 2, Holloway at No. 6), shows that this trilogy will have its own place in the history books.
“I’m well respected. He’s well respected. And to see two guys are at their best at the top facing each other, especially for fans of the sport, absolutely loving it, lapping it up. They know they’re in store for a chess match and a great fight,” Volkanovski said. “I think it is pretty incredible.
“I know it is different, obviously, with me being 2-0 and things like that. But I still feel like that adds to the story anyway. The fact that Max was stubborn and made sure that no one took that spot and then get yet another chance. I think that adds to the story because you know, he’s [had] nice performances, all that type of stuff. So, I think it all adds to the story and people are really enjoying that. Can’t wait to see what happens.”
UFC 276: Israel Adesanya vs. Jared Cannonier takes place on Saturday, July 2, 2022, live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. Follow along with FanSided MMA, who is on-site, for all your news and highlights.