Alexander Volkanovski believes he will be the first person to defeat Max Holloway in a title fight at featherweight.
Hawaii’s Holloway has looked unstoppable at 145 pounds but when he tried his luck at lightweight, Dustin Poirier appeared to be too powerful a foe.
Volkanovski believes he will also be too powerful for Holloway and that people will realize that when they battle for featherweight gold in the co-main event of UFC 245 this Saturday.
“The thing is, the lightweight division is too strong for him — that is why he was going to be undefeated at featherweight, but if he moves up he will struggle,” Volkanovski told BJPENN.com ahead of his fight with Holloway. “But if you ask anyone who has trained with me or fought me, they will tell you I feel like a welterweight in there. I have a ton of power, I don’t want to sound cocky but I am pound-for-pound one of the strongest people you will meet. That is the difference. A lot of people are going to realize that come December 14. I can’t wait to show the world. People are going to have me as an underdog and say Max is too big, but once I get ahold of him, he will feel the power and everyone will see the power.”
Although Volkanovski is the underdog in this matchup, he seemingly doesn’t care. He is confident he’ll prove all his doubters wrong, including those saying he won’t be able to fight for five rounds.
The Australian has never been to the fifth round in his career but he is confident his cardio will hold up and he will be the one pushing the pace.
That being said, he doesn’t see this fight going the distance.
“Honestly, I really do believe I can finish him. He is tough, and I respect him as a fighter. But, I’m going to win them early rounds and I reckon I can get a finish,” he explained. “But, if he is as tough as everyone says, I’ll get a decision win. I’m too good to slow down and I set a good pace. If he can keep up, he’ll be a step behind the whole fight, I believe.”
If he does indeed beat Max Holloway, Volkanovski would be the just the second person to beat Holloway, Jose Aldo, and Chad Mendes — three of the best featherweights ever. The other fighter to do so is Conor McGregor. Volkanovski feels this would prove he is one of the best featherweights of all time.
“I took out Chad Mendes and Aldo is good but this is the fight,” he said. “This is the champ. Especially on a card like this. This is when everyone will know my skill and discuss me as one of the best featherweights of all time. If I go and do that, taking out legends of the sport, you can’t argue I am one of the best featherweights of all time. I plan on taking out No.1 contenders after. I need to win, I need to be the champ and be the No. 1 pound-for-pound to provide for my family. If the legacy is there it’s there.”
In the end, Alexander Volkanovski is extremely confident the world will hear ‘And New’ on Dec. 14. He also believes this will be Holloway’s last fight at featherweight, as he doubts the Hawaiian will want to cut the weight to fight him again.
“He has thrown out moving up, he is a big boy, so it is hard to make that weight,” he said. “I don’t want to sound cocky, once he feels the power and what I do Dec. 14, I think he is going to realize his smartest move is to move up. I’m going to make his decision easier on Dec. 14.”
“I’m ready to steal that show and make that night about me,” he concluded.
Do you think Alexander Volkanovski will be able to finish Max Holloway at UFC 245?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/9/2019.