Volkanovski Addresses UFC 251 Criticism & ‘Korean Zombie’s’ Comments
Alex Volkanovski earned his first title defence in his rematch with Max Holloway at UFC 251 on Fight Island. Despite a great back and forth contest, the split decision was packed with controversy as many scored the bout in favour of the Hawaiian.
Many individuals in the MMA community voiced their opinions about the decision — including Nate Diaz and Jorge Masvidal — and held Holloway as the true winner of Saturday’s co-main event. Nonetheless, Volkanovski firmly stands by the judges’ decision.
Volkanovski spoke to Fox Sports News Australia about his performance in UFC 251’s co-main event against Holloway.
“Obviously he did get those knockdowns in the first two rounds and that can sway people’s opinion a bit, but at the same time you’ve got to go round-by-round. That’s our scoring system,” he said.
“I definitely, quite confidently won those last three rounds and the last stats didn’t really show it, but the official stats show I was well ahead in the last three rounds … I’m confident and I know I won that fight.”
During the UFC 251 post fight press conference, Dana White stated having Holloway as the winner of the fight. However, Volkanovski does not take these declarations personally and believes the UFC president had a bias towards ‘Blessed’ for the Hawaiian’s popularity and star power.
“Look, it was a close fight. [Dana’s] the type of person who will say what he thinks.
“Obviously, we all know that there’s going to be fighters that he favours. Max is a big drawcard and so I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think that he wanted Max to win, but at the same time it was a close fight.”
Another MMA personality who quickly publicised his opinion after the bout is Chan Sung Jung. ‘The Korean Zombie’ — along with many fans and pundits alike — scored the bout for Holloway and, thus, deemed Volkanovski’s title reign as ‘shameful’.
Volkanovski responded to the remarks in conversation with Ariel Helwani on ESPN, where he downplayed the Pohang-si native’s comments by assuring ‘The Korean Zombie’s’ team is likely writing the caption rather than the fighter himself. The 31 year old Australian even alluded to the incident between Brian Ortega and ‘Zombie’s’ friend Jay Park at UFC 248, where ‘T-City’ slapped the Korean rapper.
“I don’t know, maybe he’s got one of his boys writing some stuff for him again,” Volkanovski said. “Again, straight after my last fight, he started getting – or one of his teammates or his manager got lippy and started carrying on, and then one of them got slapped for it, and then they went quiet. So Brian Ortega gave them a good slapping, and they stopped talking for a while, but maybe they need another good slapping to keep them quiet.”
“He’s probably just trying to hype the fight up, but I think he needs to fight Brian Ortega,” Volkanovski said. “I think that’s what they plan on doing and again, I want them number one contenders. You go out there, and you take out Brian Ortega, I’m sure everyone’s gonna be screaming your name, and I’m gonna be there waiting. One hundred percent.”
Volkanovski’s future opponent remains uncertain, but there is no shortage of intriguing matchups for the Aussie. Whether it is a rematch with Holloway or a fight against ‘The Korean Zombie’, the featherweight division is nothing short of exciting at the moment.
Who would you like Alex Volkanovski to face in his next title defence?