Aussie champion Alexander Volkanovski has defended his featherweight championship belt for the first time — and there’s not a person on the planet that could take it out of his hands.
However, the Wollongong slugger has still been given a reality check by UFC boss Dana White, who on Sunday did almost nothing to hide his frustrations that Volkanovski was awarded the victory over legend Max Holloway in a split decision from the judges on Fight Island.
While the UFC world was up in arms over the spit decision result, the judges’ scorecards show only one of the three judges awarded the fight to Holloway because of his domination in the early rounds.
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Volkanovski executed a comeback deserving of his champion status, recovering from two early knockdowns to dominate the final two rounds of his five-round battle.
However, the Aussie’s achievements have now been called into question after White suggested on Sunday the judging panel got it wrong.
The UFC CEO even suggested the fight promotion could look at replacing the judges currently available inside the UFC’s Abu Dhabi quarantine zone.
“Listen, man, you can’t leave it to these guys,” White said, according to MMAFighting.com.
“We’ve got some bad judging. We’ve got some bad judging and — I don’t know, has Max been in here yet? I’m sure he’s devastated.”
Alexander the Great.Source:Getty Images
Speaking in his post-event press conference, White took an on-the-spot poll of reporters present and appeared to conclude that the fight world all scored the fight in Holloway’s favour.
“Did anybody in here score it for Volkanovski?” White asked.
“Anybody have it for Volkanovski? Nobody in the media? I don’t know, we’ll have to figure it out.
“Looks like we’ve got to tighten up our refs and judges here on Fight Island.”
White also appeared cold on the subject of a possible trilogy fight between Holloway and Volkanovski.
There were initially public calls from fight commentators for a trilogy in the aftermath of Volkanovski’s win and the match-up appears the best option for the UFC considering top contender Zabit Magomedsharipov is yet to prove himself on the biggest stage.
Perhaps the most rogue score was the judge who gave the fifth to Holloway.Source:Supplied
But the man from NSW appears ready to move on from his Holloway rivalry.
“I don’t believe the first fight was close. This fight was probably closer but I got the job done,” Volkanovski said. “I believed I’ve closed that chapter.”
“I’m the number one featherweight in the world right now but I want to be the GOAT,” he added. “You get that way with title defences against number one challengers.”
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