First the belt, then superstar status: Volkanovski


“You want to be on these bigger cards. When you’re on these bigger cards there’s more eyes on you, more media, there’s a lot more attention,” Volkanovski told The Age.

“That’s how crazy this sport is. You put yourself in a position like this, you capitalise and things go to plan, you can be a superstar overnight – especially on a card like this.

“The position I’m putting myself in is obviously growing – it was fighting for the No. 5 rank and then No. 1 rank, fighting [Jose] Aldo, the greatest featherweight of all time, now I’m fighting another champion.

“This is a crazy opportunity for me, I am going to capitalise and I’m going to get the world on my side. The end of this year is where everyone is going to be like, ‘Wow. This kid is the real deal.’ Next year is where life is going to change 100 per cent.”

Holloway, who has won his last 13 fights as a featherweight, has been the champion for two-and-a-half years and defended the title three times. But Volkanovski said he would be doing the Hawaiian a favour by handing him his first loss in the division since Conor McGregor in August, 2013.

Champion: Max Holloway is one of the most accomplished names in mixed martial arts.Credit:Getty Images

“He’s a great champion, but I’m very confident that I’m the guy to do it,” Volkanovski said.

“My team is very confident, we know we’ve got a good game plan ahead, we’re confident in my abilities and it’s just my time now.

“He wants to move up [in weight], he really does so I’m going to do him that favour and … let him move up.

“He’s tough, he’s got a good chin, we’ve seen it but at the same time cutting that much weight you never know when it’s going to catch up to him and obviously I hit really hard.

“If he wants to come at me and he wants to go forward like he has on his last few opponents, I reckon I could definitely catch him.

“I’m in phenomenal shape, my last week was perfect … I can’t wait to put on a show for the world, especially Australia.”

Holloway has consistently referred to Volkanovski as a “cupcake” in the lead-up to their fight, but the Australian suggested he wasn’t a cupcake the champion would like to taste.

“He can’t wait to taste the flavour but this flavour has got some hot flavour, I’m telling you, it’s got some chilli flavour and it packs a punch, so I hope he likes chili,” Volkanovski said.

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