Max Holloway, 28, headed into his fourth title defence against Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 245 as the well-backed favourite for people especially when visiting online betting sites in the UK. After defeating Jose Aldo in June 2017, Holloway has defended his crown against Aldo, Brian Ortega and Frankie Edgar, but Volkanovski proved an opponent too far for the Hawaii born fighter.
It’s been somewhat of a challenging year for Holloway, who is now 1-2 for 2019. His only victory this year was his featherweight championship defence against Frankie Edgar at UFC 240, which he won via unanimous decision. This success comes between two defeats, with the first coming against Dustin Poirier at UFC 246 by decision. Holloway was fighting to secure the interim UFC Lightweight Championship, and while he was unsuccessful, the bout has the title of Fight of the Night.
So, you could understand Holloway being disappointed with how 2019 has panned out in a professional sense. Still, the fighter who trains out of Gracie Technics Honolulu posted a classy message following his reverse to Volkanovski.
“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. 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 line-up again,” Holloway posted.
Holloway could be in line for an immediate rematch to avenge his defeat to Volkanovski, with Australian and UFC president Dana White both on board. It will be a way for Volkanovski to silence the doubters of his credentials as the champion, and by beating Holloway a second time, it will prove just how capable of a performer he is in the featherweight division.
Speaking on the potential of a rematch, Volkanovski said, “I think he deserves it.” He then went on to add, “Do I have to beat him to prove I’m the better fighter? We’ve had five rounds to do it, and I’m pretty sure I won it pretty clearly. But anyway, people are still gonna doubt. But, again, I’ll be ready for it. And he does deserve it.”
It was the end of Holloway’s stunning 14-bout winning streak at featherweight against Volkanovski, and now the Australian believes it’s his time to shine. The “Blessed Era” is one that everyone in the UFC universe has enjoyed, and some will hope it can continue if the rematch comes to fruition.
However, it could be that a changing of the guard has occurred and Volkanovski is the man to breathe new life into the division. A rematch will undoubtedly be definitive, and Dana White suggests it could happen in Volkanovski’s home country. White said, “That market is massive for us, so maybe we do that rematch in Australia.”