It looks like things are getting a bit personal between Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway.
The pair will compete in a rematch for the featherweight title when they meet in the UFC 251 co-main event this Saturday in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi.
Volkanovski won the title after outpointing Holloway over five rounds in their UFC 245 fight back in December. Holloway, however, felt he did enough to win on the night and criticized the Aussie’s performance recently by implying he was just point fighting while downplaying his leg kicks during the contest.
“The Great” isn’t letting those comments get to him, though, as he believes Holloway is just being salty.
“Look, I don’t know if he’s playing the game and he’s just trying to get people to believe the sh*t he’s saying, I don’t know what it is,” Volkanovski said during a virtual media day on Tuesday (via MMA Fighting). “I’m not letting it get to me. It seems like it’s getting to him.
“It seems like he’s salty and he’s being a bit of a sore loser, but I guess losing is tough and maybe that’s why he’s acting like that. He’s saying some crazy things.”
Volkanovski: Holloway Has Changed
Both fighters had plenty of mutual respect for each other leading up to the fight as well as afterwards.
However, things seem to have changed recently, especially from Volkanovski’s viewpoint.
“There’s something different about the way he is,” Volkanovski explained. “I don’t know what it is. Again, I don’t hate the guy. I’ve got respect for the guy and you can see clearly after my fight I was saying he was a great champion and I want to be a great champion too. That’s how I know Max Holloway. To see him say these things and act the way he’s acting, it just doesn’t suit him. It’s not how he should be going about it. I don’t know why he’s taking it that way. I’m blown away by it, but at the same time it makes me want to put a bit more of a beating on him as well, so again, I can use this as fuel. He’s saying the wrong things and—whatever, it is odd.
“I don’t know where he’s going with all these weird narratives, like, ‘the leg kicks weren’t working,’ he was saying that the commentary was biased for me. It was crazy, acting like I’m a karate point-puncher when he’s known for his volume punching, pitter-patter. You had the commentary talking about how I’m looking to throw power shots to finish the fight. Am I going to be able to keep this pace up and keep this power up, am I going to gas because I’m throwing everything into my punches. You know what I mean? It’s just crazy where he’s going with everything.”
As for the upcoming fight itself, it seems like Holloway is already at a disadvantage given how his training camp supposedly went during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Volkanovski, however, never bought it and believes if Holloway is actually under-prepared, he is in for a tough night.
“I hope he had a full camp because I did beat him on his best day and I believe I’ll do that this camp too,” Volkanovski added. “If he is under-prepared, I truly do believe I’ll be putting a beating on him. That’s just the truth. I’m not being disrespectful, but if you come into this fight under-prepared, you’re going to make that night very hard for you.”
What do you make of Volkanovski’s comments?