UFC featherweight champion, Alexander Volkanovski, looks to make his first title defense on fight island at UFC 251 in a immediate rematch against former featherweight champ, Max ‘blessed’ Holloway.
On Wednesday, Volkanovski spoke with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani to give an update on his upcoming fight, and his intentions going into it.
“I believe that a lot of people forget that I shut him down five rounds to none, and you know me, I’m not the type to brag, but it is what it is,” Volkanovski told Helwani. “I believe I won all five rounds pretty convincingly, but people quickly forget. (So), I have something to prove, and I need to show everyone that (on) July 11th. I am the best featherweight in the world, and there’s going to be no doubt in anyones mind as soon as I get the job done,” he added. “This is the fight I want, I need this fight. For my legacy, I need this fight.”
Volkanovski voiced his displeasure with the narrative that Holloway tried to put out in his post-fight interviews, following their last fight.
“This whole narrative where straight after the fight he thought he won and (that my) leg kicks weren’t working, I don’t know what it was, I don’t know,” he told ESPN. “If it’s what he believes then, so be it, but he kept saying that. Then, over time, people started to believe it. I feel that people quickly forget, and let’s be honest, you don’t switch stances for no reason,” he added. “I know he likes to switch stances, but he did a whole round (fighting) southpaw, purely because his leg was beat up. That round that he did that was the third round, he went southpaw pretty much the whole fight, and that was my biggest round. I picked him apart. You’re not gonna stay there the whole round if your legs not hurt. Especially when you’re getting constantly punched in the face.”
“I don’t need to change much, but at the same time this is going to be a very different fight,” Volkanovski told Helwani. “I believe this is going to be a high paced fight, and I believe I’m finishing him. I believe I’m the man that can finish him, that’s the goal.”
Volkanovski, who suffered a broken hand in the title fight against Holloway, made a full recovery about two months after their last fight, and says his hand is 100% for this fight.
The fight between Volkanovski and Holloway will be one of three title fights co-headlining UFC 251’s stacked Pay-Per-View card.