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Volkanovski: Third Max Holloway bout is ‘silly,’ I’ll defend belt against ‘guys that deserve it’

Alexander Volkanovski isn’t willing to fight Max Holloway for a third time just yet.

Dana White was one of those who believed that the rematch between Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway was marred by “bad judging.” The UFC president is even open to make a third fight happen, based on that controversial outcome.

The champion, however, isn’t willing to go down that road just yet.

“At this point, right now, it doesn’t make sense,” Volkanovski recently told ESPN (transcript by MMA Fighting). “To win back to back, I did say (that I wanted to beat him decisively), obviously leading up to the fight, trying to hype the fight up, but we all know Max is durable. So we’re well aware that taking him out is difficult to do.

“But at the same time, the majority of the rounds out of the two fights clearly show that I won seven or eight of them. Again, very competitive rounds so you’ve got to give credit to Max but at the same time, winning two back to back, it would be silly to do a rematch.”

Based on the current UFC rankings, Holloway is still at the number one spot. But Volkanovski says the former champion should decisively beat other top contender first before he agrees to a trilogy.

“I said as soon as I got the belt, I want number one contenders,” he said. “I want the guys that are next in line. So if Max takes a few guys out and there is no one else left and it’s him, he’s that number one guy, I’ll take that fight. Again, that’s what I want to do. I’m an easy champion to understand.

“I want number one contenders, plain and simple. No beating around the bush. Give me the guys that are next in line, the guys that deserve it, and let’s go.”

Volkanovski is taking a close look at other possible challengers, namely Zabit Magomedsharipov, “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, and Brian Ortega. But as of right now, fighting isn’t at the top of his priorities list.

“I just think those are the biggest fights and make the most sense, but we’ll just have to play it out,” he said. “I just fought. I don’t need an opponent right now. I’ve still got time to let this division play out. So we’ll just wait and see and hopefully, I’ll have someone by the end of the year.”

The 31-year-old Volkanovski (22-1, with 14 wins by stoppage), is so far undefeated in the UFC. He holds other notable wins over Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes.