Aussie UFC star Alex Volkanovski wants to make a statement and send a message to his “haters” in his upcoming blockbuster fight.
Australian UFC star Alex Volkanovski says he isn’t motivated by proving the “haters” wrong as he gears up for a blockbuster trilogy fight with rival Max Holloway next month.
The featherweight champion will take on Holloway for the third time at UFC’s International Fight Week in Las Vegas on Sunday July 3 in his fourth title defense.
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Volkanovski won their previous two meetings via decision, but his second victory was embroiled in controversy, with many MMA commentators arguing Holloway deserved to win.
The American has long been Volkanovski’s closest rival in the featherweight division and they had been due to fight earlier this year but Holloway pulled out with an undisclosed injury.
Volkanovski has been determined to stay active and claimed a dominant stoppage win over Jung Chan-sung, aka Korean Zombie, in April.
The 33-year-old is the second best men’s pound for pound UFC fighter but has often been discredited by many American UFC fans who feel Holloway was robbed in their last fight.
But Volkanovski isn’t motivated by silencing his doubters, declaring he wants another victory simply to enhance his legacy in the octagon.
“They’ve quietened down a little bit so that’s all good,” he said.
“I don’t care about that now, that’s not why I took this fight. It wasn’t just to shut them guys up. I did originally want this trilogy to shut people up but right now it’s not about that. This fight is going to be a legacy fight for me.
“I’m going to go out there and I plan on putting a beating on him this time.
“I really do want to send a statement, getting a finish or really getting that dominant win will definitely help that legacy that I want as well.
“That’s something I have talked about, I’ve always wanted to prove to people, I ain’t about that now.
“But this opportunity is here and I’m going to take it. It’s going to be ‘And still’ and I’m going to put on a good performance.
“There’s going to be haters no matter what you do. Even after this one if I go out there and do what I plan on doing, there’s still going to be haters, there’s still going to be people saying stuff, but we can’t worry about that.
“I have used it all as fuel to get me where I am but right now, it’s about me and putting me in a good position after this one. I plan on going out there, putting work on him.
“He’s a great fighter, I’ll give him a lot of credit, he’s that No. 1 contender, he’s done great things in this division, it’s probably the reason why he’s even getting a trilogy.
“Taking him out again will really put my name out there and raise that bar a lot more for me, put me in a lot better position.
“That’s why I’m taking this fight — not to shut people up, it will feel good to shut people up but that’s not my main driver right now.
“We’re going to silence them but if they want to keep yapping, let ’em.”
Volkanovski previously told news.com.au he wants to be “the GOAT of UFC” and reiterated his intention to go up to the lightweight division after the Holloway fight in a bid to become a double champion.
“After this one I’m going to do my thing,” he said.
“It’s going to give me that time to at least go and try for that double field status.
“That’s what I want. I’m going to do what I plan on doing (beating Holloway) and that’s what I’m going to call for.
“I definitely believe I can get that double field status and be successful.”
Volkanovski will feature on a stacked UFC 276 card headlined by the fight between middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and Jared Cannonier.