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Alexander Volkanovski: It was ‘pretty silly on my behalf’ to accuse Max Holloway of faking injury

Volkanovski admits he was wrong to accuse Holloway of faking an injury. 

Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 266.
Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 266.
Photo by Alex Bierens de Haan/Getty Images

Alexander Volkanovski regrets accusing Max Holloway of faking an injury to get out of their trilogy fight.

Volkanovski and Holloway were scheduled for a third (and potentially final) fight at UFC 272, but an injury suffered by ‘Blessed’ forced him to withdraw days after the trilogy was announced. The ‘Great’ was given a replacement in Chan Sung Jung, better known as ‘The Korean Zombie’ and subsequently moved to UFC 273 a little over a month later.

Just weeks after his withdrawal, Holloway was cleared to resume training and offered to serve as the alternate fighter for either Volkanovski or Jung. Upon hearing of his recovery and offer, the featherweight champion took to Twitter to blast his foe and suggest he was never injured. That suggestion is something he laments now, telling Submission Radio it spawned out of pure confusion and frustration over the ever-changing situation.

“I didn’t get any clarification [on Max being a backup opponent for UFC 273],” said Volkanovski. “Obviously, I heard about it. And obviously it was frustrating because at the time, I really wanted that fight. And so once you heard he got injured, especially when they announced it earlier, it was all a bit confusing and frustrating. So, you saw my frustration. Obviously, I wanted to tweet and have a little shot at Max and his fans. But that was the only reason, which was pretty silly on my behalf, to be honest. That just shows you where my head was at back then. That’s something that I’ve really been working on lately.”

Though Volkanovski has beaten Holloway twice, fans still scrutinized his wins. The City Kickboxing product admitted he used to pore over those comments but has since had a revelation and stopped caring about what was being said.

“I’ve been really working on just not worrying about what people think, and all that type of stuff. Because it was running everything for a while. I think cause I’m such a people pleaser, I always want people on my side, and when they’re not, like, I take whatever they say to heart, and all that type of stuff. So, I’ve always cared what haters said, and what all these people would say. So, I always felt like I had something to prove and wanted to get back at ‘em. But now I literally don’t give an F about any of that. Which is something I’m really growing with.”

Volkanovski defends his championship for the third time in the headliner of UFC 273, which is set to take place on April 9 at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. If successful against Jung, Volkanovski has expressed interest in rescheduling with Holloway soon.