Three “Huh?” Moments in MMA Last Week: Lance Palmer is upset, Volkanovski-Holloway 3, and Tito Ortiz runs for office

UFC 251: Alexander Volkanovski hit by Max Holloway
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – JULY 12: (R-L) Max Holloway punches Alexander Volkanovski of Australia in their UFC featherweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Dana White: It’s hard not to book Volkanovski-Holloway 3

Following another close bout between UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski and former 145-pound champ Max Holloway in their rematch last month, there’s been talk of booking an immediate trilogy bout. This despite the fact that Volkanovski has come out on top via decision in both previous matchups. Huh?

“It’s hard to not say we can give Max a rematch for that fight again – do it a third time,” White said when speaking to ESPN. “I think a lot of the fans and the media would agree with that. I don’t know for sure.” – via MMA Fighting

As weird as it sounds, and as often as White says dumb things, this actually makes sense. While neither of the first two fights between Volkanovski and Holloway were robberies, it’s clear that the margin of error is small for both men. But, Volkanovksi isn’t stoked on the idea of a third fight.

It’s easy to see where Volkanovski is coming from, and he’s got a point. The problem is Holloway, after taking the last bout with the current champ to a split-decision, still has a slightly better argument than the next few contenders. Each of them needs another marquee victory to cement their title shot claim. It sounds like the promotion agrees, as it’s looking to book the featherweights ranked #2 through #5 in the totally-not-dumb-and-always-accurate UFC rankings against each other.

Third-ranked Zabit Magomedsharipov is slated to fight fifth-ranked Yair Rodriguez later this month. There have also long been rumors of a bout between fourth-ranked Chan Sung Jung and second-ranked Brian Ortega, but those have yet to materialize.

Letting those four figure out the next featherweight title contender, while Volkanovski and Holloway close the door on their rivalry (maybe?), makes sense, despite the Hawaiian’s back-to-back losses.


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