Alexander Volkanovski plans on making a statement at UFC 251.
It was recently announced that Volkanovski would defend his featherweight title for the first time in a rematch against Max Holloway in the co-main event of UFC 251 which takes place July 11 on Fight Island.
“The Great” notably became the champion by shutting down Holloway over five rounds in their UFC 245 title fight this past December. Despite clearly earning the win on the night, many observers weren’t fully convinced with Volkanovski’s performance.
That and the fact that Holloway was given an instant rematch seems to have annoyed the Aussie, who now not only looks to beat “Blessed” again, but do it with a finish this time.
“This is a rematch and I’ve got something to prove right now, this is bigger than just a win,” Volkanovski told ESPN. “I don’t want to go out there and just beat him, I’ve already done that. I dominated him for five rounds last time, but they give him a rematch anyway.
“People quickly forget how I did it, there were biased opinions and commentary, everything. So I’m a little bit annoyed, I feel disrespected. I’ve got something to prove this time, I’ll put him away inside the five [rounds] this time. I guarantee you that. I’m sending a message.”
Volkanovski Excited To Compete On Fight Island
Volkanovski vs. Holloway II will feature as part of three title fights taking place in the UFC’s inaugural Fight Island event.
Like recent events that have gone by, there will be no fans in attendance due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. And while Volkanovski would love to perform in front of an audience, having watched the last few UFC events, he believes fans are benefiting from a more up-close experience by getting to hear all the connections and sounds during a fight.
And Volkanovski plans on landing some big shots on Holloway to add to that experience.
“Obviously you want to entertain and you want to hear the crowd roaring when they see these big shots and when they hear these big shots — but there’s something special about the silence in there,” he said. “So the people watching on at home can hear the connections, they can hear the coaches talking and see the fighters reacting; they can hear the fighters talking to each other. It’s something that I have really enjoyed — the connections that you’re hearing, the echoing through the TV and things like that, it’s pretty incredible.
“And now this is happening on a Fight Island, there’s something about it. I’ve been saying it’s that ‘Mortal Combat s—,’ so it’s pretty special and I can’t wait to land some of those big shots so the world can hear my connections echoing through their TVs.”
UFC 251 will also feature a vacant bantamweight title fight between Petr Yan and Jose Aldo while welterweight champion Kamaru Usman defends his strap against Gilbert Burns in the headliner.