The City Kickboxing stalwart was dominant in a unanimous decision
triumph over the popular Hawaiian, sweeping the scorecards by a
trio of 50-to-45 counts. Unlike the first two meetings, there was
no debate about who deserved to get the nod. And no matter what
popular opinion might be, the record shows that Volkanovski is 3-0
in his trilogy against Holloway.
“It’s been a bit of a journey this rivalry,” Volkanovski said at
the UFC 276 post-fight press conference. “Like taking the belt,
having the rematch, and all that talk and all that was a bit part
of my career, and it adds to the story. It was hard. There were a
lot of ups and downs in there. There was a bit I had to get
through, but it was good to finally put an end to it and silence a
lot of people.”
Despite now owning a winning streak that is now 22 professional
fights — 12 in the UFC — Volkanovski admits that there were times
that perception bothered him, especially concerning his matchups
against Holloway. Ultimately, he used that as motivation.
“I’ve moved past it, so I don’t hold a grudge,” Volkanovski said.
“It’s all good. But there was a time that s—t did get to me. It was
hurting, it was hard time, but it made me who I am now, so I’m
proud that it happened. It was a good experience for me, made me
unstoppable, invincible. A lot of people were bringing me
Volkanovski also credits Holloway for elevating him to another
level. Before the 33-year-old Aussie rose to the top of the
division, Holloway was neck-and-neck with Jose Aldo in
conversations regarding the greatest featherweight of all time.
“I wouldn’t be the fighter I am today without him,” Volkanovski
said of Holloway. “He’s made me raise the bar. I don’t need anyone
help me raise the bar, I do it myself, but he makes it easy to make
me be disciplined.”
Now, it’s nearly impossible to have a featherweight GOAT discussion
without including Volkanovski, and his 3-0 mark against Holloway
really makes his resume stand out.
“To sit there and take someone like Max three times, that’s really,
really, really saying something,” he said. “They are a lot bigger
wins than your average defense.”