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Max Holloway wants to get one thing straight: he is still fighting to become a UFC champion.
In the lead-up to his fight this Saturday, Holloway wanted people to take a step back and evaluate the type of fight he’s going into. He’s facing Arnold Allen, a high-ranked featherweight who has yet to lose in the UFC.
Max Holloway thinks he’d be crazy not to want the belt
“Are you insane?” Max Holloway said, in a video provided by MMA Fighting, responding to those fans and pundits who think he may have moved on from trying to be a champion. “If being a champion wasn’t my motivation, if being the greatest wasn’t my motivation, why would I take this fight? If I was in it to just fight or even get money grabs, I’d take easier fights.”
Holloway is coming off his third defeat against UFC Featherweight Champion Alexander Volkanovski. That performance was a tough loss for the former featherweight king, getting swept on all three scorecards by the Aussie and seemingly putting their rivalry to bed.
Volkanovski was the fighter who first took Holloway’s featherweight belt in late 2019, beating the Hawaiian via a five-round unanimous decision. Just seven months later, Volkanovski pulled off a split-decision victory to earn his second victory. His third consecutive win in the rivalry came nearly two years later.
The latest loss against Volkanovski was an especially tough one for Max Holloway it seems, but he wanted to move on instead of dwelling on outcome or making excuses.
“It sucked. Losing sucks,” he said in Kansas City this week. “I’m a sore loser, bro. It sucked, but congrats to him. At the end of the day, I’ve had performances like that against guys that I’m not supposed to have performances like that against … I’m not going to make no excuses, no nothing. Congrats to him, on to the next one.”
The former titleholder disagreed with those who said that the performance showed that he is regressing. He highlighted the fact that fighters in MMA appear less often than other athletes, meaning one bad performance gets them judged for a longer period of time.
“[In] basketball, I can go shoot from the line 0 for 12, two days later I got a game, I can go off 32 points. We’re in a sport where we fight [and] we’re lucky enough to fight twice a year … You’re only as good as your last fight, and that’s what it is. I can’t wait to go out there and make this, my next fight, a great one.”
Veteran against Allen? To an extent, Holloway says
With over 25 UFC appearances and numerous high-profile bouts, it’s no surprise that Holloway has been given the “veteran” label against Allen this weekend. But Holloway has warned fans to not emphasize that too much.
“I’m a vet, I love being called a vet, but I’m literally only two years older than this guy. A lot guys, they bring up the damage point, but we’ll get to see. He has a lot of questions, and I have a lot of questions, and we all get to get answers [on] April 15th.”
As Holloway noted, the difference in damage between him and Allen is certainly part of the conversation as well. Holloway’s career is made up of gritty wins and losses where had to overcome the potential to succumb to his opponent’s onslaught. How much that will play into his future performances remains to be seen.
Overall, Holloway came off as motivated this week, preparing for what will be another tough yet high-profile bout in the featherweight division. With lots of eyes on him, ‘Blessed’ hopes to show he’s the fighter that many have come to know.
“I’m hearing the critics, hearing the media, hearing all the social media people talking. I just can’t wait to go out there and show out.”
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