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UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has claimed Max Holloway is ‘privileged’ to be getting the third fight against him.
The Australian is going up against ‘Blessed’ at UFC 276 in what will round off a trilogy of fights between the pair, despite Volkanovski already going 2-0 against his opponent.
Volkanovski has made the trip to Las Vegas for the showdown and is training with partner Israel Adesanya ahead of the fight card that features both men.
And while Volk is confident coming up against Holloway again, he claims the American is living up to his ‘blessed’ nickname by having the opportunity for a trilogy.
Speaking to Fox Sports, Volkanovski was asked whether the fight would be happening if any other fighter had lost both consecutive fights.
He said: “Max is known as ‘Blessed’ Holloway. And he is blessed to be given this third shot.
“For the UFC to ask for it, then for me as champion to accept after already going two-zero, I think he’s in a very lucky position.
“So he should feel privileged and happy with this opportunity he’s got, because I don’t think anyone in any other division gets this chance.”
Despite Volkanovski already claiming two victories, there is still a whole lot of intrigue in the third fight - which the Australian admits is why he took the fight.
The 2019 matchup went to decision, while their second fight was only decided by split decision, meaning there is still an appetite to see one of these men finish off the other inside five rounds.
Since facing each other Holloway has taken out Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez, while Volkanovski has defeated Brian Ortega and Chan Sung Jung.
Their third fight will be a rare instance of two top 10 pound-for-pound fighters going up against each other with Holloway currently ranked sixth and Volaknovski sitting at third.
Holloway touched on why the fight deserved to be happening again while speaking to MMA Fighting.
He said: “We’re here for a reason.
“If it was so guaranteed already, we wouldn’t have been here. So I can’t wait. I can’t wait to go show. A lot of history on the line, a lot of legacy on the line, 0-0 Max is going in there looking for a finish. So I can’t wait.
“I’ll fight this fight just like how I fought every other fight — like it’s my first and it might be my last. So I’ve been in there 10 rounds with the guy. I feel good, I feel confident, and I’ve been saying we’ll be lucky if we get past three in this one.”
The fight is set to co-main event UFC 276 this Sunday, July 3rd.
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