Alexander Volkanovski confident Max Holloway makes it ‘look easy’ against UFC champ Ilia Topuria

Alexander Volkanovski is the only fighter to ever share the cage with both Ilia Topuria and Max Holloway, giving him unique insight on the looming matchup between UFC champ and BMF champ.

Volkanovski (26-4 MMA, 13-3 UFC) owns three victories on his resume against Holloway (26-7 MMA, 22-7 UFC) during his stint as UFC featherweight titleholder, while his lone encounter with Topuria (15-0 MMA, 7-0 UFC) led to the end of his reign as champ, courtesy of a second-round knockout at UFC 298 in February.

Although Volkanovski expected an immediate rematch with Topuria after dropping the belt, it appears Holloway has overtaken his top contender spot after claiming the BMF strap with an all-time knockout of Justin Gaethje at UFC 300 in April. Even with Topuria doing some posturing over the idea of fighting Holloway, there are solid odds it will ultimately come together this year.

Common opponent Volkanovski isn’t thrilled about that idea, mainly because he thinks Holloway will win and thus diminish the stakes of a future rematch with Topuria.

“I believe Max can go out there and make that fight look easy,” Volkanovski told FOX Sports Australia. “Topuria is very dangerous, a great fighter, but I don’t think he’s as good as he thinks he is. And, of course, he caught me, right? So I can’t really say much.

“I need to show everyone. I know I can do it, too. And I’m also quite confident Max can too, which is why I didn’t want him fighting Topuria before I did.”

Longtime UFC commentator Joe Rogan recently claimed on an episode of the “JRE MMA Show” with Holloway as his guest that he heard Topuria declined a rematch offer against Volkanovski at UFC 305 in Perth on Aug. 18.

Volkanovski said the UFC didn’t contact him about the matchup, but he’s “not surprised” Topuria wasn’t keen. He expects to see Topuria down the line, though, and has no doubt the result would be different.

“I know I can do a much better job,” Topuria said. “I didn’t fight my fight, and he capitalized, so credit to him. But I know I can go out there and make that fight look easy.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie