UFC 245 Countdown: Holloway vs Volkanovski

>>Narrator: On a small beach
just west of Waikiki lurks one of the greatest fighters
the world has ever known. A charming disposition
has always defined UFC featherweight
champion Max Holloway, whose infectious optimism
started at an early age.>>Max Holloway is not
your typical MMA fighter. No matter the obstacles
Max faces, his views remain positive.>>Max: You shouldn’t give up. Like, what is that? If you give up,
you certify a loser. If you try, you at least
a winner in your book. If you don’t try,
you’re a loser. A losah, I should say. I know how to talk
proper English now. I was at a point in my career where if I wanted
to be a champion, if I wanted to be great, if I wanted to be
one of the best ever, I had to take my
career to the next step. And Rylan Lizares,
the head honcho, he not only helped me in
my martial arts career, he helped me out in life.
Period.>>Narrator: Rylan Lizares
began working with Holloway before he ever
fought professionally, when Holloway was a meager
young athlete with big dreams.>>You know, it
feels like yesterday, but he’s a kid who came in
here when he was 19 years old. He’s 0-0 and we were just
going for our first win. [grunting]>>Max: I had a chip
on my shoulder and I always thought the
world owes me something. So, he’s one of the guys that
kinda snapped me and was like, “The world owes you nothing. It’s life. If you want something,
go out and get it.” And the one thing that
he really showed me was how to be a martial artist,
true martial artist.>>Rylan: He’s working harder. He’s working smarter,
more efficiently. And I think he gets better
and better every single fight. You got this.
You gotta keep your movement. You gotta feint. Don’t get into a slugfest. We don’t always see
how good he gets because of how dominant he is. This is our fight. Just keep chipping away. Chop the tree, let’s go. But, the best opponents
will bring out the best Max. ♪♪>>Narrator: Across Holloway’s
decorated UFC career…>>Jon: Oh!>>Brian: Beautiful
spinning back kick to the body!>>Joe: And the
guillotine again! He tapped!
He tapped!>>John: Max Holloway
extends his winning streak.>>Joe: He got it! He got it!>>Narrator: …he
shined the brightest when the championship
was at stake.>>Joe: Another
hard shot to the body. Pettis is in trouble.>>Narrator: He is unbeaten in
featherweight title bouts…>>Joe: He’s melting; That’s it.>>Narrator: …with wins
over former lightweight king
Anthony Pettis…>>Jon: Oh! Max Holloway
knocks down Jose Aldo!>>Narrator:
…the greatest featherweight
of all time Jose Aldo…>>Joe: Aldo desperately
trying to survive.>>Jon: And look
what he just did to the consensus greatest
featherweight of all time.>>Unbelievable.>>Joe:
Max Holloway might deserve
that distinction at this point.>>Narrator: …undefeated
challenger Brian Ortega…>>Joe: This is
championship level stuff, ladies and gentlemen. Oh!>>Dominick: That’s like a
10-punch combo from Max. Breathe.>>I love you.
>>I love you too, baby.>>Narrator:
…and most recently, future hall of famer
Frankie Edgar.>>Jon: He is willing
to walk through hell to become a two-division
UFC champion.>>Joe: Well, welcome to hell.>>Jon: Oh!>>Joe: This is the best
featherweight of all time.>>Max: When they talk about
the greatest of all time, they look at records. These are the kind of
guys you wanna beat.>>Bruce: And still!>>Max: There’s
levels to this, you know. And I’m gonna go in there. I’m gonna show you
what level I’m at. I’m open that
door and good luck.>>Narrator:
Holloway is emerging as one of the most
dominant champs in the sport… but the UFC’s deep
waters always lurk with oncoming challengers, and Holloway’s next opponent
has been watching closely.>>Alex: Max’s last fight
was an interesting one. I just think Frankie had
posted a little bit wrong, to be honest. He just doesn’t have that power that really could’ve
helped him in that fight. But the thing is, for me,
I do have that power. ♪♪ I’ve been meaning to
do this, I really am. I have nothing but respect
for a great champion. What he’s done to all
the other opponents, I knew he was
gonna take them out. People are like,
“Who’s the man to do it?” I’m the man to do it and I get to show the
world that December 14th. ♪♪>>Narrator: Number one
contender Alexander Volkanovski enters a December 14th
title bout against Holloway with 17 consecutive wins, 14 finishes, title belts from 5
different MMA promotions…>>Lopez: 20 seconds,
let’s put in, guys, let’s go.>>Narrator: …and is
preparing with the first man to discover his potential, local promoter Joe Lopez.>>You gotta be
ready for any situation. Alex came here to get fit and we had an open
day sparring here. And I left it open to anybody
in the gym to come along. We had a few other gyms. Alright, get your gear, guys. As I’m driving my guy up, the other threw Alex
into the cage with his fighter. I ran down to try and stop
him but they’d already started. Within a minute, Alex
had submitted this guy. Come back with a hook
and a cross, yeah? One hook, cross. After the sparring,
I said to him, “Did you ever thought
about having a fight?” He said, “It’s always been a
dream of mine to have a fight.” And the rest is history. ♪♪>>Jon: Well, you talk
about hype in advance of a guy making his UFC debut. Enter Alexander Volkanovski. 13-1. He used to lay concrete
in the family business. He put his family’s life on
hold to pursue this MMA dream. Pretty amazing to prove yourself
to them and arrive here.>>Dan: Big, powerful
punches from the top position.>>Narrator:
Volkanovski entered the UFC as a top Australian prospect…>>Jon: That’s gonna do it.>>Narrator: …and
did not disappoint.>>Brian: Volkanovski’s
just nonstop offense.>>Dan: He forces a point. He knows what he wants to do
and then he goes after it. [yelling]>>Volkanovski!>>Narrator:
He crumbled featherweights
with unrelenting pressure…>>Jimmy: The accuracy of the
head strikes has been on point.>>Narrator:
…and quickly found himself
among the division’s elite…>>Joe: Mendes
is in big trouble. Volkanovski’s teeing off on him.>>Jon: Alexander
“The Great” has arrived!>>Narrator: …which
included a trip to Brazil for a marquee bout
with a living legend.>>Jon: The king
of Rio de Janeiro, number-one ranked
featherweight contender and former two-time
UFC champion Jose Aldo. 7 successful title defenses
during his first UFC reign.>>Going in the UFC, I
was going to be up there.>>Jon: He was not going to be
intimidated by the atmosphere, nor the opponent.>>Alex: Not just a number, not
just another body in the UFC. One of the champions.>>Dominick: Volkanovski
getting to the pressure now.>>Now I know I’m at that level.>>Daniel: Volkanovski is
fighting a fantastic fight.>>Alex: I’m the
man of this division and I’m taking that belt.>>Bruce: “The Great”
Volkanovski!>>Alex: I’m Max Holloway’s
worst nightmare.>>Narrator: Before number
one featherweight contender Alexander Volkanovski
rose to UFC title contention he excelled in the
Australian Rugby League, leading teams to
grand final matches and earning individual
honors in the process.>>Alex: Rugby League
made me who I am today. So, this little powerhouse
you see, this cardio machine, even on the footie field, I was the person who
would run all day. Give me the ball
and I would run. I used to be 214 pounds
because that position I played, they’re absolute
monsters I’m up against. That’s what I’ve been
used for so many years, all these monsters, running
straight at them, tackling them And I’ll always hold my own. Now I’m fighting
these featherweights. I look at them and they’re tiny. They really are. ♪♪>>Narrator: When
Volkanovski transitioned from imposing
rugby front rower, to 145-pound MMA powerhouse… ♪♪ [man singing]
♪ Turn up, turn up ♪>>Narrator: …the skills he
brought from his former career were shockingly transferable. ♪♪>>Alex: There’s a lot of
things in Rugby League that really help me
fundamentally transition to MMA. ♪♪ The footwork, the agility. That’s all a big part of it. I mean, a lot of the drive,
a lot of the power, a lot of the contact
was the same. ♪♪ You know, it really
has helped with my game, and you’ve seen that
in my fights as well. ♪♪>>Narrator: From
the Australian turf to the world famous Octagon…>>John: Volkanovski a former
professional rugby player. Weighed about 210
pounds at one point.>>Narrator: …no UFC
athlete has been able to stop Volkanovski’s
patented onslaught…>>Dan: He brings that power. Super competitive athlete
is Volkanovski. Got bitten by the MMA bug.>>Narrator: …but
on December 14th, he faces champion
Max Holloway…>>Paul: Nonstop
throwing punches, Joe.>>Joe: His volume is
insane, his pressure, and his cardio is
just off the charts.>>Narrator: …who brings his
own brand of non-stop offense.>>Paul: Man, Max is relentless. Body, head, body, head.>>Alex: Max wants to
hold that pressure as well. Usually people slow down and that’s where he
really picks it up. But that stuff just
doesn’t work on me and I’m not gonna slow down. [grunting] He’s gonna be in my face. He’s gonna be coming. And I’m gonna be standing there,
ready to take him on. ♪♪ [grunting] ♪♪ I’m a dangerous man, especially
if you wanna come forward. ♪♪>>Narrator:
Across the Pacific, Holloway readies for
the power and pressure that Volkanovski will bring to their co-main event
bout in Las Vegas…>>Darin:
Make sure those shoulder blades
are coming together.>>Narrator: …with long time
strength coach Darin Yap.>>Darin: We’re just balancing. 30. Stay on there.>>Narrator:
Even after dismantling 14
consecutive featherweights, the pair is hungry
for even more.>>Lift that chest
a little bit more. ♪♪ Let’s go, that’s how we do it. Let’s go, boy, come on. That’s always been
the mentality, see how good we can get. How great we can become. That’s what makes it
motivating for us as a team to get ready for. That’s what makes it
motivating for Max. And the next
fight is just a test. How’s it going. Last three, here we go, come on.>>Max: I think about tests. You know, there’s a lot
of guys in this division, in fighting period. They pass the test but they
don’t answer all the questions. You can go back to every
single one of my fights. I answer every single question.>>Jon: The king of Rio.>>Brian: He is
very, very elite. There are world class fighters and then there’s
world class athletes. This man is both.>>Jon: The great Jose Aldo
has been too much for everyone.>>Max: People told
me with Jose Aldo, I wasn’t gonna be able to
handle his speed or leg kicks. Question answered.>>Joe: Boom!
Look at that right hand. The volume is insane. His pressure and his cardio
are just off the charts.>>Max: People told me
with Frankie Edgar, I wasn’t gonna
handle his pressure.>>Joe: His ability to
put a pace on guys, it’s so hard to quantify because he does not
let you take breaks.>>Question answered.>>Joe: Oh! Max Holloway, a guy who has
the highest volume of strikes anybody in the division. He makes you wilt
with the pressure.>>Max: I’ll go to a
hundred-piece combo and we’ll see how
much this guy can take.>>Narrator: When
Alexander Volkanovski…>>Joe: Volkanovski–
he is a freak athlete. I mean, he’s
ridiculously powerful.>>Jon: Oh!>>Joe: Ripping to the body,
he dropped him!>>Dominick: That’s it!>>Joe: He has a
warrior’s mindset.>>Narrator:
…meets Max Holloway at UFC 245
on December 14th…>>Brian: When this
man gets into a rhythm, it is unbelievably
difficult to stop.>>Narrator: …two
unstoppable forces collide…>>Push, come on. Go, go, go, go!>>Narrator: …for
the right to be called “champion of the world.”>>The fight is gonna end
whenever he’s ready to give up.>>Push, push, push, push. Hold it, boy.>>I’m ready to put it on him.>>Joe: Volkanovski
coming on strong. The volume. He is a finisher.>>Alex: We’re both gonna
try and hold the center. I’m gonna come forward.
I’m gonna bring it. [grunting]

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