Alex Volkanovski wants to beat Max Holloway to become a ‘featherweight great’


That’s the word Alex Volkanovski used to describe his initial reaction to the news that Frankie Edgar would be getting the next shot at Max Holloway’s featherweight title.

And why wouldn’t he be?

Volkanovski had just defeated the greatest featherweight of all time in Jose Aldo. The first man to do it outside of a title fight in 10 years. Only a few months earlier, he had knocked out two-time title challenger Chad Mendes. Undefeated inside the UFC and riding a 17-fight winning streak, Volkanovski had cemented himself as the number 1 contender in the division.

But MMA is a crazy sport and Volkanovski’s 48 hours after beating Aldo is a testament to that.

“MMA the sport itself is like a roller coaster,” Volkanovski told Fight News Australia.

“So many highs and so many lows. There is no better example than my last couple of weeks taking out the greatest featherweight of all time on a high and two days after in a Chilean hospital hoping that I do not lose a leg and finding out that Frankie would be fighting Max for the title.”

At the same time Volkanovski was brought to the hospital because of an infection in his foot, news broke that Max Holloway would defend his title against Frankie Edgar at UFC 240 on July 28 (AEST).

Initially ‘filthy’ at the decision, Volkanovski quickly realised that the timing of the fight meant he could still fight the winner and achieve his goal of becoming champion before the end of the year.

“I’m not going to dwell on these things,” Volkanovski said.

“I’m expecting to fight for that title at the end of the year. I wasn’t expecting to fight for another 3-4 months and I don’t think that is going to change, so at the end of the day, I still get what I want. I will still get to fight for the title and I’ll be champion by the end of the year.”

If the stars align, Volkanovski could be set to face the winner of Holloway and Edgar on the Whittaker vs Adesanya card, rumored to take place in Australia later this year.

The blockbuster Australasian mega fight, however, has not yet been officially announced despite many proclaiming the fight is set to take place on October 6th which would coincide with the NRL Grand Final.

“Nothing is clear yet,” Volkanovski said on the expected date of the Australian card.

“I think Izzy (Israel Adesanya) wants some time off and he will probably want to fight later than October 6 which he deserves as he has been fighting a lot.

“I don’t think they would want to do it on the same date as the grand final anyway, you would lose half of your fans. It may not make much difference to America, but it will be massive on this part of the world and you don’t want the fans to be tossing and turning on what to watch.

“Everyone on this side of the world will want to watch that fight if you pick the right date. Having me fight Max or Frankie on that card you are talking about a blockbuster event.”

With the impending Holloway and Edgar matchup looming, Volkanovski believes a win over Holloway would do more for his career than a win over Edgar.

Despite Holloway’s recent stumble in a lightweight title fight, many believe the Hawaiian has surpassed Jose Aldo as the best to ever fight at 145 pounds.

“I want Max,” Volkanovski said.

“Max beats Edgar and he is back in the winning circle. He is the champ and if I take him out that is huge.

“Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo, Max Holloway, let’s be real, I would have just taken out three of the greatest featherweights.

Now all of a sudden, I would be looked at as one the greatest featherweights of all time and that would be the start of something massive for my career and ultimately help me look after my family.”

Muay Thai champion Chelsea Hackett set for MMA debut at Eternal 45

My earliest combat sports memory is watching David Tua knock people out with his left hook.  I am extremely passionate about combat sports in Australia and my home country of New Zealand and I endeavour to grow the profile of martial arts and its athletes in both countries. Persistent Brazilian jiu-jitsu battler.