After going more than four years with out suffering a defeat in the Octagon, Max Holloway had a rough campaign in 2019 – at least by his standards.
“Blessed” lost for the second time in his last three outings at UFC 245, dropping a unanimous decision to Alexander Volkanovski and relinquishing his featherweight crown in the process. In April, Holloway lost a five-round verdict to Dustin Poirier in a bid for the interim lightweight belt at UFC 236.
Judges scored Saturday’s contest 48-47, 48-47 and 50-45 in favor of Volkanovski, who battered Holloway with low kicks and never allowed Holloway to unleash his trademark volume. Still, Holloway did get stronger as the bout progressed, and he felt he did enough to get the nod.
“First round, I was feeling him out, so he did what he did in the first round,” Holloway said at Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “Second round I thought I was taking over and then three, four, five, I thought was mine.
“But they saw it another way, there’s only three opinions that matter. Like the great Burt Watson said, don’t leave that s--t to the judges, they’re gonna make you cry. They made me cry twice in 2019, so let’s choo-choo forward to 2020, new year, new me.”
Given the competitive nature of the contest and Holloway’s extended reign as featherweight king, a rematch could be in store. However, Holloway didn’t want to commit to anything on Saturday night.
“I’m gonna sit down with my team. Watch the tape. Sit down with Dana,” Holloway said. “If they hit me up, it is what it is, the fans make it happen, it is what it is. I’m a fighter, I fight. But it’s a team decision with me. It’s not a me thing. I’m not all about myself. My team got me here. I’m going to sit down with my team, talk to Dana, and we’ll go from there.”
Holloway also admitted that his view of the fight came from the action in the heat of the moment. From that perspective, he felt his effort was enough to win. However, “Blessed” is taking his loss in stride and vows to bounce back.
“I don’t want to sound like a sore loser. I didn’t watch no tape. I don’t know what happened,” Holloway said. “I felt like we was doing enough, but there’s three guys’ opinions that matter the most and they didn’t see it my way so at the end of the day it is what it is. We’ll be back. Like I said, I’m only 28. I’m only 28, guys, I’ll be back and we’ll be ready.”