Former UFC featherweight champion, Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway has the opportunity to reinsert himself into title contention on January 16th. in a mouth-watering pairing with surging contender, Calvin Kattar, but claims his close split decision loss to two-time foe, Alexander ‘The Great’ Volkanovski in July was actually a result the majority of spectators had scored in his favour.
Battling the Aussie striker for the second consecutive outing, Holloway dropped a 47-48, and 48-47 (x2) split decision, in a hugely competitive back-and-forth. The defeat marked the Hawaii favourite’s second on the trot, following an unsuccessful title defence opposite the City Kickboxing mainstay in a much more clear cut UFC 245 matchup in December of last year.
Holloway, who scored two late-round knockdowns against the incumbent best at the July UFC 251 ‘Fight Island’ event, didn’t see those dropping scored as they both occurred at the closure of the first and second frame respectively. Finding himself on the wrong side of three successful takedowns, Holloway also absorbed one-hundred and thirty-nine total strikes against the 32-year-old New South Wales native.
Speaking with ESPN MMA reporter, Brett Okamoto recently, Holloway spoke of his rematch with Volkanovski and explained how up to eighty or ninety percent of onlookers scored the fight in his favour, but in typical ‘Blessed’ fashion, insisted, “it is what it is“.
“It is what it is,” Holloway said. “Me personally, I don’t really think it matters if I won the fight. What matters most to me is how most people think. Dana White doesn’t call me up after the fight and be like, ‘Hey kid, did you think you won the fight?“
“It doesn’t matter what I think, but the UFC, you guys, the world, they can see, eighty to ninety percent of the world thinks I won, and 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 money, you care about the company, but what else? For me, you care about respect. Respect from your peers.“
Holloway continued and explained how peers within the mixed martial arts community voiced their support for him when some of them can’t even agree upon which colour the sky above is.
“After the fight, I could see my peers and what they would say and they were sticking their necks out for me,” Holloway explained. “These aren’t fans, this is fighters. Actual other fighters. It’s Jorge (Masvidal), Nate (Diaz), it’s Dustin (Poirier), Justin (Gaethje)), the list goes on — even Ali (Abdelaziz) and the Kawas (Malki and Ibrahim Kawa). All these guys cannot agree on what colour the sky is but they agreed on one thing that night.“
While Holloway hopes to earn another crack at featherweight gold when matched with New England Cartel riser, Kattar in January, the above mentioned current titleholder, Volkanovski is widely expected to draw would-be common opposition, Brian ‘T-City’ Ortega in his next attempted title defence, following the Californian’s slick unanimous decision win over ‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung in October.