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 is not 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 face Holloway for the third time on Sunday, July 3 at UFC’s International Fight Week in Las Vegas in his fourth title defense.
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Volkanovski won their previous two encounters via decision, but his second win was mired 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 should have fought earlier this year, but Holloway withdrew with an unknown injury.
Volkanovski is determined to stay active and claims a dominant victory over Jung Chan-sungalso known as Korean Zombie, in April.
The 33-year-old is the second-best UFC fighter for men, but has often been discredited by many American UFC fans who feel Holloway was robbed during their last fight.
But Volkanovski is not motivated by silencing his doubters and declaring that he wants another win simply to cement his legacy in the octagon.
“They’ve calmed down a bit, so that’s all good,” he said.
“I don’t care now, that’s not why I went into this fight. It wasn’t just to silence those guys. I originally wanted this trilogy to silence people, but that’s not the point now. This fight is going to be a legacy fight for me.
“I’m going out and I intend to spank him this time.
“I really want to make a statement, get a finish or really get that dominant win will definitely help that legacy that I want too.
“That’s something I’ve talked about, I’ve always wanted to prove to people, that’s not the point now.
“But this opportunity is there and I’m going to grab it. It’s going to be ‘And still’ and I’m going to put in a good performance.
“There will be haters, whatever you do. Even after this, if I go out and do what I intend to do, there will still be haters, there will still be people saying things, but there will be we don’t have to worry about it.
“I’ve used it all as fuel to get to where I am, but right now it’s about me and getting me in a good position after this one. I’m planning to go outside to put him to work.
“He’s a great fighter, I give him a lot of credit, he’s that number 1 contender, he’s done great things in this division, it’s probably why he’s even getting a trilogy.
“If I take him out again, my name will really come out and raise the bar for me much higher, putting me in a much better position.
“That’s why I’m taking this fight – not to silence people, it will feel good to silence people, but that’s not my main motivation at the moment.
“We’re going to silence them, but if they want to keep yapping, let them.”
Volkanovski previously told news.com.au he wants to be “the GOAT of UFC” and reiterated his intention to move 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 gives me that time to at least start trying for that double championship status.
“That’s what I want. I’m going to do what I plan to do (beat Hollywood) and I’m going to call for that.
“I absolutely believe I can get that double championship status and be successful.”
Volkanovski will be featured on a stacked UFC 276 card headlined by the fight between middleweight champion Israel Adesanya and Jared Cannonier.
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