Former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway is not too bothered by the fact that he lost the rematch to Alexander Volkanovski. In his mind, as long as the majority of fans believe that he won, that is all that matters to him.
The first time Holloway and Volkanovski squared off, it was far from a close fight. Alex took it to the then-champ for five rounds, to snatch the crown in fairly dominant fashion. This was expected to be the result of their rematch too, but that would not the case at all. Max had shown a vastly improved gameplan, making the fight far more competitive, before he would ultimately lose a split decision on the judge’s scorecards.
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Max Holloway Just Wants The Respect
Although Max Holloway may have lost the official scorecards for the fight, many people thought that he should have won. As he explained in a recent interview, this almost means as much as actually winning the fight. Speaking for the first time since the loss, he said that he was disappointed in the result like you might expect, but he could not be mad about it while knowing that pundits in the sport thought that he won the fight.
“It is what it was,” Holloway said. “Me personally, I don’t really think that it matters if I think I won the fight. I think it matters what most people think. Dana White doesn’t call me up after the fight and say ‘Hey kid, did you think you won the fight?’ That just doesn’t happen. It doesn’t matter what I think. But the UFC, you guys, the world, they can see 80-90% of the world thinks I won. That’s what matters to them, and that’s what matters to me.
“Whatever job you have, at the end of the day, what do you care about is what you’ve got to ask yourself. You care about the money, you care about the company, but what else? What comes to mind for me, is you care about respect and respect from your peers,” Holloway continued. “After the fight, I could see my peers and what they were saying. They were sticking their necks out for me. These weren’t fans, they were fighters. They were actual other fighters. It’s Jorge (Masvidal), it’s Nate (Diaz), it’s Dustin (Poirier), Justin (Gaethje), the list goes on. It’s crazy, all these guys cannot agree on what color the sky is, but they all agreed on one thing that night.
“We got Frias Zahabi, Georges St-Pierre’s coach saying it, Big John,” Holloway said. “Everybody says ‘Big John is a referee,’ he’s not only a referee. He made the rules. This guy has classes for judges. This is the man. He has classes for these judges to take. He think I won the fight, and of course Dana White said what he said. So with all that being said, it’s hard for me to be mad. It is what it was.”
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The Future Of The Blessed Express
As admirable as that sentiment is from Max Holloway, there is still the fact that he officially lost the fight, and has two losses to the current champion, which is a tough spot to be in. He looks to be getting back to action against Calvin Kattar next, but the future is still unclear as he is in a bit of a limbo. That being said, he is not too bothered by this, as he feels most people still look at him as the champ.
“You can ask everyone, even the peers, the people in weight class,” Holloway said. “You can even ask Kattar, I think he even said it. He feels like he’s fighting the champion. I know what you mean about the title and everything, but I’ve got five of them at home. I can grab them and put them all on my shoulder and talk to you. It is what it is.
“I ain’t scared of hard work,” Holloway continued. “If that’s the path I need to go, we need to re-do stuff to get there. I know it’s tough, but the Blessed Express ain’t stopping for no one. I’m far from done. I’m 29 years old, you see guys 38, 40 fighting, and fighting at a high level. I do not want to fight at that high level at that age, so hopefully I can get it a little bit sooner, but I ain’t afraid of hard work. We’ll get back there. We get there, we’ll see how the division clears out. We stay in our lane, keep winning fights live we’ve been doing, get on a winning streak and we’ll go from there.”
It is good to see Max Holloway taking this setback in stride. It is crazy to think of all that he has accomplished before the age of 30, so we will likely still be seeing him for a long time to come.