Max Holloway Discusses Alexander Volkanovski’s Rapid Return, Expresses Desire for 145 Title

Former featherweight champion Max Holloway is focusing on his upcoming fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 300, but admits he has his sights set on regaining his 145 title, which could involve facing either Alexander Volkanovski or Ilia Topuria.

Max Holloway is not a fan of looking ahead. Yet, he’s well aware that it’s part of the MMA game.

He’s set to return against Justin Gaethje at UFC 300. But the ex-featherweight champ’s attention is firmly on the present. He’s up against a human wrecking ball known for his spectacular finishes. Still, Holloway’s not dodging questions about what’s next, especially with so many potential game-changers on the horizon post-April fight.

“First things first, Justin Gaethje,” Holloway shared with MMA Fighting. He’s not a fan of future-gazing. But he does like to remind folks that he’s got options. He’s keen on reclaiming his 145 title. He thought he’d done enough to earn another shot, but the title shot went elsewhere.

This opportunity came knocking, and who could refuse? If all goes well, he’ll have even more choices. But, we’ll see how it pans out.

To reclaim the featherweight title, Holloway must defeat either Alexander Volkanovski or Ilia Topuria. They’re set to clash in UFC 298‘s main event on Feb. 17. Holloway’s already lost thrice to Volkanovski. Yet, he believes that defeating top contenders like Arnold Allen and legends like “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung could put him back in the running for a fourth bout.

Volkanovski’s been a force since winning the belt. His upcoming fight could be his toughest yet. Topuria’s lethal power and skills aside, Volkanovski’s stepping into the ring just five months after a brutal knockout by UFC lightweight champ Islam Makhachev.

Volkanovski was eager to shake off the loss. Wanting to fight isn’t always the best move, but Holloway trusts Volkanovski and his team to make the right call.

“Alex is Alex, it’s tough to bet against him,” Holloway said. He believes that if Alex stays injury-free during training, he’ll be fine. He has faith in Alex’s coaches, Eugene Bareman and his team. They’re not setting Alex up for failure, but for success.

“If the fight goes ahead, that means Alex had a great camp. He’ll be fine,” Holloway added.

Holloway also had words of praise for Topuria. The undefeated fighter boasts a flawless 14-0 record, including six consecutive UFC wins.

“Topuria’s a killer,” Holloway said. “He’s young, but we’ll see what happens. I’ve had great fights against these young guys who were supposed to defeat me.”

Holloway admits he dislikes making predictions, but he can’t bet against the reigning featherweight champ in this case. In theory, a Topuria win could pave the way for another title shot for Holloway. But he doesn’t play that game.

“I hate picking fights,” Holloway confessed. “But if I were a betting man, it’s tough to bet against Alex. I get why people are backing Topuria, though.”


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