UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has a bold prediction for his upcoming rematch with the former champ Max Holloway, which co-headlines the UFC 251 card on July 11 in Abu Dhabi.
Volkanovski defeated Holloway be decision to claim the UFC featherweight title late last year. Holloway, who ruled over the division or several years, was granted an immediate rematch on the basis of his accomplishments.
While Holloway is regarded as one of the toughest and most durable fighters in MMA, Volkanovski is confident he’ll finish him the second time around.
“This is a rematch and I’ve got something to prove right now, this is bigger than just a win,” Volkanovski told ESPN. “I don’t want to go out there and just beat him, I’ve already done that. I dominated him for five rounds last time, but they give him a rematch anyway.
“People quickly forget how I did it, there were biased opinions and commentary, everything. So I’m a little bit annoyed, I feel disrespected. I’ve got something to prove this time, I’ll put him away inside the five [rounds] this time. I guarantee you that. I’m sending a message.”
Volkanovski, who lives in Australia, has not been able to train at City Kickboxing in New Zealand as he normally would due to travel restrictions associated with the coronavirus pandemic. To work around this issue, he’s brought in a host of top training partners, including ONE Championship featherweight king Martin Nguyen.
“It hasn’t even been a couple of weeks since I got confirmation that it was probably going to be July 11,” Volkanovski said. “Obviously there are a lot of hurdles that people are adjusting to at the moment, but they let us know that that was what they wanted and I was lucky enough to have my team and everyone organized straight away.
“As soon as we knew that was happening we knew we’d better get something done; we need training; we need contact bodies; we need that contact training; so we got the police commissioners, health ministers and everyone on board, just so that we could get this training going,” Volkanovski added.
“So we got the exemption [and] we’re back into it, but it’s only going to be a six-week camp. Luckily I’m a professional and I’m always staying in pretty good [condition]. I do need that contact training, but we’re fortunate to have some of the best bodies in Australia to help out for the next two weeks.”
Do you think Alexander Volkanovski can make good on this prediction and finish Max Holloway on July 11?