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The list of men who hold a win against Max Holloway is a short one. The list of those who hold two wins over him? Ever shorter. 

So far in his career, only Dustin Poirier has managed to defeat Holloway twice — with the first of those coming in Holloway’s early days with the organisation. Next month’s UFC 251 will see Alexander Volkanovski attempt to repeat his title win against Holloway from last year and, in doing so, hand Holloway what would be his second loss on the trot.

This time, though, the Australian says he plans to make his win even more conclusive.

“This is a rematch and I’ve got something to prove right now, this is bigger than just a win,” Volkanovski said to ESPN. “I don’t want to go out there and just beat him, I’ve already done that. I dominated him for five rounds last time, but they give him a rematch anyway.

“People quickly forget how I did it, there were biased opinions and commentary, everything. So I’m a little bit annoyed, I feel disrespected. I’ve got something to prove this time, I’ll put him away inside the five [rounds] this time. I guarantee you that. I’m sending a message.”


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Camp’s in full swing!! #letsgo #ufc251 📸 @epsimedia

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The fight will be one of the featured bouts on the first ‘Fight Island’ card at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island and while Volkanovski says hat the absence of fans might be initially jarring, he says he will get used to the silence.

“Obviously you want to entertain and you want to hear the crowd roaring when they see these big shots and when they hear these big shots. But, there’s something special about the silence in there,” Volkanovski said. “So the people watching on at home can hear the connections, they can hear the coaches talking and see the fighters reacting; they can hear the fighters talking to each other. It’s something that I have really enjoyed, the connections that you’re hearing, the echoing through the TV and things like that, it’s pretty incredible.

 And now this is happening on Fight Island, there’s something about it,” he added. “I’ve been saying it’s that ‘Mortal Kombat s**t,’ so it’s pretty special and I can’t wait to land some of those big shots so the world can hear my connections echoing through their TVs.”