Alexander Volkanovski is suspicious of Max Holloway and his offer to serve as the replacement fighter for his featherweight championship fight at UFC 273 in April.
Volkanovski and Holloway were expected to complete their trilogy at UFC 272 in March, but an undisclosed injury suffered by ‘Blessed’ forced him to withdraw from the event. The ‘Great’ was then given another opponent in Chan Sung Jung (better known as ‘The Korean Zombie’) and saw his upcoming defense shifted over to the next pay-per-view. However, less than a month after the new fight was confirmed, it was announced that Holloway received medical clearance to train again and offered to step in on short notice for either man should something happen before then.
With how soon he was cleared, Volkanovski had some doubts on whether Holloway was truly injured. The UFC featherweight champion took to Twitter on Tuesday and questioned the speedy recovery. And as for his recent offer, the answer is clear.
@BlessedMMA wants to be the backup fighter for the fight he was originally scheduled to fight. ♂️ so in other words…he was never injured. Just hoping he doesn’t have to fight me or fight me while I’m preparing for someone…but hey “if you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying” …NO— Alex Volkanovski (@alexvolkanovski) February 9, 2022
“[Holloway] wants to be the backup fighter for the fight he was originally scheduled to fight,” wrote Volkanovski. “So in other words…he was never injured. Just hoping he doesn’t have to fight me or fight me while I’m preparing for someone…but hey “if you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying…NO.”
The former champion has yet to reveal what the injury was or how severe it was initially thought to be, but it appears as though he can compete now. Though he has not been tapped as an official replacement, the UFC is aware of his proposal.
After dethroning Holloway by unanimous decision at UFC 245, Volkanovski met him again in an immediate rematch and defended his newly acquired championship via split decision at UFC 251. The City Kickboxing product went on to earn his second successful defense, this time against Brian Ortega in a ‘Fight of the Night’ awarded performance at UFC 266 this past September.