Alexander Volkanovski Reveals USADA Situation That Affected Performance In Second Max Holloway Fight: “Now I Can Tell”

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Alexander Volkanovski Reveals USADA Situation That Affected Performance In Second Max Holloway Fight: "Now I Can Tell"

Alexander Volkanovski ended his trilogy with Max Holloway with a dominant decision win at UFC 276, beating the former champion 3-0. Now that he’s moved away from him as an enemy, Volkanovski explained why he felt discredited and attacked from “all sides.”

“That rivalry has been quite a journey,” Volkanovski said after UFC 276. “Taking the belt, having the rematch, all that talk and all that was a little bit part of my career and it adds to the story, so that’s all good but it was hard. There’s been a lot of ups and downs, you know what I mean? There was a little bit I had to go through, but it was good to finally put an end to it and shut a lot of people up. A lot of people I’ve had to shut up.

“I had to stand up for myself from every angle and I think people can understand what I’m trying to say here. All angles.”

Volkanovski first beat Holloway in 2019 to become the 145lb champion and defended his belt in a rematch in Abu Dhabi eight months later.

After UFC 276, Volkanovski revealed he wasn’t at his best the second time around due to an unexpected visit from US Anti-Doping Agency officials hours before the fight.

“Now I can say it because I did this to Max,” Volkanovski said. “That second fight with Max, when I tell you I didn’t show up, a few things happened. They obviously don’t know that USADA would wake me up four hours before I had to get up, which is ridiculous. I don’t know how that happened and how it could have happened. I’m over it

“I ended up doing stupid things too. I took melatonin pills and thought – it was just silly and woke up drunk. Not drunk though [not right either]. So it was tough, it was tough, but I’m not the type to make excuses, I’m telling you now because I have to shut everyone up, and now I’m telling this. I didn’t show up, now he’ll think so because of what I did tonight. That’s why I felt so confident going into this thing. I didn’t show up, he showed up and he still couldn’t hit me.

“I was half asleep,” Volkanovski continued. “They woke us all up and said we were going to test him. Obviously my coaches and management were like, ‘What do you mean? What the hell?’ Apparently I woke up in the night to pee [so] I couldn’t fill it. I had to load water. The story goes on. I had to drink water so I could hurry and piss so I could go to bed.”

Volkanovski’s best performance against Holloway came at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday, and he made sure to get the job done before revealing the USADA situation to the public.

“Now look at this [second] fight, it probably makes a little sense. I can say it now. I’ve waited until now to tell you the whole story,” Volkanovski said. “Look what I’ve done. I forced everything. If you look at this fight, I had no reactions. My reaction time was way off. I had no reaction, no pace, everything was forced. I had to force everything, use my head to just force things. But that’s who I am. Even when things were against me, I still stood my ground and forced things and let it happen. Look, I’m kinda glad it happened because it made me even stronger.”

Should Volkanovski be in the discussion for greatest MMA fighter of all time after beating Holloway 3-0?

“It’s not up to me, but I think you would be a little stupid if you didn’t include me in conversations,” Volkanovski said. “Look at what I do, look at the resume, but again, that’s not up to me. We’re fine. We’re pretty impressive. What do you think? I know people are pretty biased. I’ve talked about it, a lot of my talking has been standing up. Maybe some of you too, line up some of the haters.

“A lot of people had to see me go out there and do that. I wanted to shut people up. I don’t harbor hostility, I’m not angry, but some needed that. Again, you can be biased if you want, but what I’m doing is pretty incredible, and for anyone watching, that’s what I mean by standing my ground. People will try to bring you down whatever they can. I’ve had people trying to pull me down from all sides. I got up and said, ‘Hey, look at me.’”

After a 22-fight win streak and one win in four consecutive UFC title defenses, Volkanovski believes it’s time to finally get the respect he deserves from fans on fight night, even if it means finishing in Australia.

“I’m sick of being booed, man,” he said, laughing. “I’m a nice f***** and get booed every time I fight in other people’s lands. If I’m the champion, everybody gets nice home field advantage. In this trilogy, I couldn’t fight at all on my home turf. It was neutral ground and two on his turf. Let me fucking defend my belt at home and we’ll make it happen.”

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