Max Holloway Offers Classy Tribute to New UFC Champion Alexander Volkanovski

By Tristen Critchfield Dec 17, 2019

In recent years, Max Holloway has often been mentioned in the same breath with Jose Aldo as the greatest featherweight of all time. He might also be one of the classiest fighters to ever wear UFC gold.

After losing a unanimous decision to Alexander Volkanovski in the UFC 245 co-main event, Holloway praised the new 145-pound champion in a social media post on Tuesday. Volkanovski became the first man to defeat the Hawaiian in a featherweight contest since Conor McGregor accomplished the feat at UFC Fight Night 26 in August 2013.

“He was willing to fight for an interim belt. If he couldn't fight me he was willing to fight anybody, even fighters ranked below him,” Holloway wrote. “When you're a champ everybody is below you, so Alex was carrying the weight of that belt before Dana wrapped it around his waist. Happy for Alex and Emma and their daughters, and Australia. Same ocean, different waves. See you in the lineup again.”

Volkanovski was masterful against Holloway at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday night, as he never allowed “Blessed” to find a rhythm in earning scorecards of 48-47, 48-47 and 50-45 from the cageside judges. That final tally was not a true reflection of the contest, however, and Volkanovski has already said he is willing to grant Holloway a rematch.

“I think he deserves it,” Volkanovski said at the UFC 245 post-fight press conference. “Do I have to beat him to prove that I’m a better fighter? I think we had five rounds to do it, and I’m pretty sure I won it pretty clearly. But anyway, if people are still going to doubt, they’re still gonna. But again, I’ll be ready for it and he does deserve it. That would make for a big fight. Of course I’m down. I’ll be better prepared the next time. I know what we know works, [and] we’re gonna get an even better formula.”

By vanquishing Holloway, Volkanovski won his 19th consecutive professional bout, a streak that includes eight triumphs in the Las Vegas-based promotion.

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