UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has had two, five-round wars with former titleholder Max Holloway. Holloway is the top ranked 145-pound contender but it’s difficult to get a trilogy bout with the champion if you’ve lost to him twice.

Holloway rebounded from the back-to-back losses to Volkanovski with a Calvin Kattar in January. He’s scheduled to faces no. 3 ranked Yair Rodriguez on Nov. 13 in the headlining bout of UFC Fight Night 197.

Volkanovski doesn’t think Holloway needed to take the fight with Rodriguez to get another crack at the title, but respects that he accepted the bout.

“Max, I guarantee you he doesn’t have to take this fight (with Rodriguez to get a title shot). And he’s still going to go take it. He wants that number one spot. He wants to earn it. It shows you what type of guy he is. How can you not respect that,” Volkanovski said during the UFC 266 Post-fight Press Conference.

“That’s exactly what I’d f*cking do. You’ve got to give him respect.”

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Asked about the Holloway and Rodriguez match, Volkanovski expects Holloway to come away the victor and secure the trilogy title fight.

“How do I think that fight’s going to go? Yair Rodriguez, he’s a great fighter. Stylistically, I think Max is a nightmare for him. I’m expecting Max to go out there and do his thing and we’re going to be rerunning that trilogy and Dana’s gonna pay us good money for it,” Volkanovski said.

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