You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Alexander Volkanovski 'happy to finish the chapter' with Max Holloway after UFC 251 win

MMAJunkie logo MMAJunkie 7/12/2020 Mike Bohn,John Morgan
a man holding a sign © Provided by MMAJunkie

Alexander Volkanovski believes he was the rightful winner against Max Holloway on Saturday in the UFC 251 co-main event.

Volkanovski (22-1 MMA, 9-0 UFC) retained his featherweight title by the skin of his teeth in the pay-per-view co-headliner at Flash Forum in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi. He edged Holloway (21-6 MMA, 17-6 UFC) by split decision, making it 2-0 over “Blessed” after winning another competitive decision at UFC 245 in December to take the belt.

There was no shortage of backlash over the result, and even UFC president Dana White said it was “bad judging.” Volkanovski doesn’t see much controversy, though, and said he won the third, fourth and fifth rounds. With that, he feels the door should be closed on his rivalry with Holloway.

“It was a tough one,” Volkanovski told reporters, including MMA Junkie, post-fight at UFC 251. “We expected him to make adjustments, he made good adjustments in the first two rounds. Then he did what we actually expected him too with the attacks. But his first two rounds were strong then we had to pick it up. Through the third round we picked it up. That third round was close, but we were confident we got that third round then obviously we took the fourth and fifth. Tight fight, but when the judges announced the score we thought we got the last three. Happy with the win. To win a rematch like that back to back, it says something. I’m happy to finish the chapter. On to the next.”

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Although there might be some who believe the decision in Volkanovski’s favor was unjust, he thinks he revealed some positive traits about himself in the fight. He lost the first two rounds and got hurt with some punches in the process, but said the fact he was able to keep himself in the fight and emerge with the win says a lot about his character.

“I showed what champions are made of,” Volkanovski said. “This sport isn’t easy and I showed what I’m made of. Certain champions can dig deep like I did. I’m proud I did and got the job done and can bring this (belt) him to Australia to my friends and family.”

Volkanovski said he’s surveying the entire 145-pound division for his next challenge after defending the strap for the first time. He doesn’t see a clear No. 1 contender, but thinks some potential fights in the coming months such as Calvin Kattar vs. Dan Ige, Brian Ortega vs. Chan Sung and Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Yair Rodriguez could help determine this next opponent.

The possibility of a third showdown with Holloway wasn’t completely shut down by Volkanovski. However, he said he thinks the Hawaiian needs to put in some work before that’s something that’s given serious consideration.

“You never know,” Volkanovski said. “Obviously, he’s got to go through the rankings system now and I don’t think the first fight was close. This was probably closer than the first fight but again, I got he job done. Doesn’t matter. I feel like I showed I’m the best fighter in the world even today. I believe I finished that chapter. I don’t know where he goes from here, I don’t know if he wants to move up or whatever. But I did what I needed to do.”

MORE:

Kamaru Usman brushes off UFC 251 criticism, shows Jorge Masvidal respect

Dana White on referee stoppage in Petr Yan's win over Jose Aldo: 'Horrible, horrible'

Jorge Masvidal will do 'whatever it takes' to get Kamaru Usman rematch after UFC 251

UFC 251 bonuses: Rose Namajunas-Jessica Andrade war nets 'Fight of the Night' honors

Twitter reacts to Kamaru Usman's 'boring as (expletive)' title defense over Jorge Masvidal at UFC 251

AdChoices
AdChoices

MORE FROM MMAJUNKIE

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon