Alex Volkanovski accuses Max Holloway of cheating after back-up volunteer move

Alexander Volkanovski has sent a stern message to Max Holloway after he offered to be the backup fighter for the upcoming UFC 273 featherweight title bout.

Holloway had been due to square up against Volkanovski for a third time, but the former pulled out of the fight, citing injury.

The 30-year-old had accepted Volkanovski’s offer of a trilogy fight, before dropping out just days later.

Whilst many believed Holloway had aggravated a previous injury, the former UFC champion has cast doubt on the legitimacy of the problem.

The organisers moved quickly to set Volkanovski up with a bout against Chan Sung Jung – the Korean Zombie.

Expected to meet in the octagon in two months, Volkanovski will take on the Korean Zombie during UFC 273’s main event.

With the winner taking home the featherweight title, plenty rides on the fight scheduled for April 9th in Florida.

However, in a surprise turn of events, the injured Holloway has offered his services as the Korean Zombie’s backup fighter.

Volkanovski calls out Holloway for a U-turn

Confused? Well, so was Volkanovski, who labelled the move as nonsensical.

In an interview with Fox Sports Main Event programme, Volkanovski questioned whether or not Holloway was playing by the rules:

“As I just tweeted ‘, If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying,” said Volkanovski.

“Maybe he just wants to get every edge he can, because he knows fair and square he isn’t beating me.”

Volkanovski won each of their previous two fights, firstly taking the title off Holloway at UFC 245 in December 2019, before retaining the belt at UFC 251 six months later.

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Speculating on why the Holloway U-turn came about, Volkanovski didn’t hold back on the former champion:

“He’s already down 2-0. Maybe he wants to fight someone else in case I get injured or get me whilst I’m preparing for someone else.

“Maybe he thinks that might give him a little bit of an edge.”

Following on from that, the Australian added: “That’s not how things work.”

Volkanovski was left stumped by his former opponents’ move, which comes during his preparations for the Korean Zombie bout.

Meanwhile, Volkanovski has claimed Holloway’s move could backfire.

“I don’t know what he’s doing. I feel like this makes it worse for him.

“It makes it look like he was just ducking the fight in the first place.

Holloway’s decision to pull out frustrated Volkanovski, who was keen to reignite old rivalries:

“I really wanted that fight. People have got to understand. I really wanted that fight.”

It leaves any prospect of a trilogy bout between the two up in the air, but Volkanovski has refused to rule it out:

“If you still want to dance, if you get that chance after this, we’ll see what happens”.