Alex Volkanovski can admit when he was wrong.
The reigning UFC featherweight champion will defend his title at UFC 273 against Chan Sung Jung.
But that wasn’t the planned bout.
Volkanovski was originally scheduled to meet former champion Max Holloway. That would have marked a third meeting between the two.
That fight was scheduled for March at UFC 272. Holloway, though, was forced to pull out due to an injury.
Now, as he has had time to think about it, Volkanovski admits he didn’t handle that entire situation very well.
UFC officials have tabbed Holloway as a potential backup replacement if something happens to either champion or challenger.
“I didn’t get any clarification (on Max being a backup opponent for UFC 273). Obviously, I heard about it. And obviously, it was frustrating because at the time, I really wanted that fight.” said Volkanovski, during an interview with Submission Radio. “And so once you heard he got injured, especially when they announced it earlier, it was all a bit confusing and frustrating. So, you saw my frustration. Obviously, I wanted to tweet and have a little shot at Max and his fans.
“But that was the only reason, which was pretty silly on my behalf, to be honest. That just shows you where my head was at back then. That’s something that I’ve really been working on lately. I’ve been really working on just not worrying about what people think, and all that type of stuff.
“Because it was running everything for a while. I think cause I’m such a people pleaser, I always want people on my side, and when they’re not, like, I take whatever they say to heart, and all that type of stuff. So, I’ve always cared what haters said, and what all these people would say.
“So, I always felt like I had something to prove and wanted to get back at ’em. But now I literally don’t give an F about any of that. Which is something I’m really growing with. Obviously, I’ve always been, confident and all that type of stuff in the cage, but I’m really starting to (also be) inside in outside the cage, just be comfortable with who I am and what I’m about, and that’s it.
“Stop caring about anything else. So, that’s something that’s been a big change for me. And I bring that up just purely, because as you can see in like the things that I’d say. I don’t even know if he even asked for that. Let’s be real. Like, that could’ve just been people just, you know. Like, obviously I think it was Brett Okamoto that put it out there. Obviously, I was a bit like, what? How does this work? As if we’re gonna have our trilogy on a late replacement.
“And that’s not how this is gonna work. So, I was a little frustrated. But for me to even let it get to me, and we don’t even know the real story behind it and all that. But it just shows you how much I was diving into the wrong shit.
“And I felt like I had to say something about it, when I didn’t even know it was true. But it just shows you sort of where I was at. Maybe these lockdowns and COVID and all that type of stuff was really getting to me. But now I’m comfortable to even talk about it. But now I’m in a real good head space and, very, very comfortable with who I am and what I’m about. But I can’t wait to get in there.
“Fight week is gonna be a different fight week, and it’s gonna be a different fight night. You guys are gonna see it. And it’s gonna be pretty incredible. This one’s gonna a real, a real big one for me. 100 percent.”