“I’m far away from that, I believe, but there’s eras and we’re in the ‘Blessed’ era and in this era I want to be one of the GOATs [greatest of all time].
“There’s greats in certain eras and while I’m here, while I’m still here and able to fight, I want to be the greatest of all time.”
Holloway took inspiration from fighters such as Anderson Silva, Demetrious Johnson and Aldo, who all enjoyed lengthy reigns as UFC champions.
The Hawaiian’s ambitions aren’t restricted to the featherweight division, either. While he made an unsuccessful venture into the lightweight division in April, losing to Dustin Poirier by unanimous decision, Holloway is prepared to move up in weight in the future.
“Whenever we get an opportunity to go back up I’ll definitely take it in a heartbeat – whatever weight,” he said.
“That’s just how we do it. I’m a fighter’s fighter. I learned a bunch [from the Poirier fight].”
In the lead-up to his fight against Volkanovski, Holloway has consistently referred to the Australian as a “cupcake”.
“I’ve got a sweet tooth and I’ve been saying all these guys are cupcakes and I can’t wait to taste a new flavour and sometimes they come back and I like redoing them,” he quipped. “I love my cupcakes so I’m excited.”
But Volkanovski’s record reads like someone who is anything but a cupcake. The New South Welshman is on a 17-fight undefeated tear that dates back six years, including the scalps of Aldo and Chad Mendes.
Volkanovski is the No.1 contender for a reason and he expressed to The Age last month his supreme confidence that he would be taking the belt off Holloway – and Holloway loves that.
“That’s why he’s here, that’s why he’s going to be across the octagon from me, that’s why he’s the No.1 contender,” said Holloway, who has won his last 13 bouts as a featherweight.
“If you didn’t have confidence, you don’t belong in this, you don’t belong in anything.
“I get to fight a guy who truly believes in himself and who presents a lot of questions for me and my team, so it’s exciting times that we’re living right now.
“We both love winning, I can’t wait to entertain – that’s the exciting thing. I can’t wait to go in there and fill it out and have fun, man.
“It is a different feeling when you do that. Every time I walk out, I’ve got the biggest smile on my face.”
Ronny Lerner is a Sports reporter for The Age.