Midnight Mania: Why Did Volk Return Faster Than Islam After Brutal KO Loss?

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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight king Islam Makhachev isn’t impressed with the Lightweight booking between Justin Gaethje and Max Holloway at UFC 300. Makhachev labeled the bout useless on social media, and his team has also questioned the promotion’s decision, which is holding up a possible title contender in Gaethje.

Makhachev has struggled to get a title defense booked in 2024. He wants to fight three times this year, but nothing has materialized. As a result of top contenders Gaethje, Charles Oliveira, and Arman Tsarukyan all being booked at UFC 300, he’s turned to Dustin Poirier as a possible option for his planned June return to action. Maybe if Gaethje had passed on the “Blessed” showdown, it would be him fighting the Russian in June?

It’s certainly a risk fighting Holloway.

For his part, however, the Hawaiian takes issue with Makhachev’s critique. According to Holloway, there’s been ample time for Makhachev to return to action since his knockout win over Alexander Volkanovski in October 2023. Holloway points out that the Australian managed to get back in the cage in February, and he’s the guy who got knocked out!

“I saw Islam talk about, ‘oh, this fight makes no sense and blah, blah, blah’. I’m like brother, you should’ve fought Justin in February,” Holloway said on the MIGHTYcast with Demetrious Johnson (via Sports Keeda). “Why did the guy you knocked out turn around so fast and fight in February? I mean, you were healthy. You should’ve turned around and came [back in] February. Everybody knows you can’t fight in Ramadan and that’s why they couldn’t do the fight on 300 with Leon [Edwards] or he couldn’t get another fight, but he’s complaining like ‘I can’t get fights’.”

He continued, “I’m like it’s because you’re only fighting around the times you want to fight. It’s not you can’t get fights. You’re just not taking the fights that are offered because of certain things that are going on. If he really wanted to fight, I thought he would’ve turned around and fought in February. It made no sense to make the guy who just got a brutal knockout to turn around and fight in February.”

Given Holloway’s propensity for fighting often and Lightweight title goals, perhaps it could be Holloway filling in two months from now if he’s victorious at UFC 300.


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LIVE! Watch UFC 300 PPV On ESPN+ Here!

BIGGEST, BADDEST COMBAT SPORTING EVENT! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will make history inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., April 13, 2024, staging the 300th pay-per-view (PPV) event since its inception in 1993. Alex Pereira will put his 205-pound belt on the line in UFC 300’s main event against returning former division roost-ruler, Jamahal Hill. In UFC 300’s co-main event, women’s Strawweight champion, Weili Zhang, will defend against top-ranked contender, Xiaonan Yan, while Justin Gaethje puts his “Baddest Motherf—ker” gimmick belt on the line against former Featherweight deity, Max Holloway, in an all-action Lightweight showdown. UFC 300’s blockbuster PPV main card (see it here) will also feature Charles Oliveira vs. Arman Tsarukyan and Bo Nickal vs. Cody Brundage. All that and so much more! UFC 300 start time scheduled for 6 p.m. ET (Prelims) and 10 p.m. ET (PPV).

Don’t miss a single second of EPIC face-punching action!

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