The pair were scheduled to fight in Melbourne, Australia but instead, it was headlined by a featherweight title fight between Amanda Nunes and Felicia Spencer. However, the wait for both Volkanovski and Holloway seems to be over as the UFC is targeting a July 11 date for the men’s featherweight title fight.
The news was first reported by Ariel Helwani of ESPN. The UFC 251 card will also feature a bantamweight title fight between Jose Aldo and Petr Yan. The winner of the bantamweight title will face the top contender in Aljamain Sterling, who is coming off of a stunning submission win over Cory Sandhagen.
UFC welterweight champion Kamaru Usman will defend his title against Gilbert Burns on the same card. Burns is coming off of a stunning one-sided unanimous decision win over former UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley last month. Initially, Jorge Masvidal was supposed to fight Usman, but the BMF champion is currently at odds with UFC over contractual issues.
The fights will take place at UFC’s Fight Island and the UFC hasn’t revealed any details on the location yet. Alexander Volkanovski last fought at UFC 245 against Max Holloway. In this fight, he became the new featherweight champion by dethroning the Hawaiian star via a unanimous decision.
Alexander Volkanovski not keen on a rematch with Max Holloway
Volkanovski revealed in an interview earlier this year that an immediate rematch doesn’t make sense because the fight wasn’t as close as he had initially anticipated.
“Straight after, Dana White was mentioning the rematch and even I touched base on it but watching back the tape, the fight wasn’t probably as close as I originally thought,” Alexander Volkanovski said earlier this year in an interview.
“Watching it again and I was trying to watch it as I was trying not to be biased. I was definitely trying to notice everything that he done and I was struggling to give him one round. I really did. There’s obviously rounds that was a lot closer than others but if you’re giving him a round, it’s purely because he was champion and you wanted him to win. That’s the way I look at it. There was some rounds that were a little bit closer but I was struggling to give him a round. I really was. But it’s not like I blew him out of the park every round but I was definitely ahead.”
“If it was a lot closer, a split decision, stuff like that, I mean my coaches are even going to say he deserves that rematch. But they watched the tape and they’re like ‘you can’t just give him a rematch after that,’” Alexander Volkanovski said. “I’m the type of person, I’ll fight whoever.
“I believe I’ll get the job done anyway. Not just that, I reckon there’s money in that rematch as well and I could probably redo my contract, we’ll see. Again, we’ll just see. There’s time.”
Does Max Holloway really want a rematch?
“Max hasn’t really been talking about the rematch or anything. I don’t know if he wants to fight lightweight. He’s been talking about that for a long time,” Alexander Volkanovski said.
“Without being rude, I was saying that I would take that belt and I would make that decision easier for you and you could move up. Maybe that’s what he is doing, I don’t know.”
Who do you guys think wins in the rematch between Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway?