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‘More fire’? Max Holloway has no idea what Khabib Nurmagomedov is talking about

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Max Holloway isn’t sure why Khabib Nurmagomedov is doubting his desire to compete.

When giving his prediction for Holloway’s trilogy fight with featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in Saturday’s UFC 276 co-main event, Nurmagomedov said he thinks Volkanovski has “more fire” than Holloway (23-6 MMA, 19-6 UFC) and picked him to retain.

Since losing to Volkanovski (24-1 MMA, 11-0 UFC) in back-to-back title fights, Holloway has rebounded with striking clinics against top contenders Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez, so he’s surprised with Nurmagomedov’s opinion.

“Not at all, you know? I mean, he’s probably talking about Volkanovski having more fire because he has a cooking show or something,” Holloway told Yahoo! Sports. “Maybe the fire resemblance there, but other than that I don’t know, man. I don’t know. Khabib is Khabib. He’s gonna say what he’s gonna say, and I have no idea what he’s talking about, you know? I’m here, and I’m still doing it, so I can’t wait. There’s a lot of people saying stuff, and we get to figure out if everything is true, if I still have the fire come Saturday night.”

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Alexander Volkanovski: Max Holloway trilogy a 'legacy fight,' not to shut doubters up

Holloway’s two decision losses to Volkanovski were tightly contested, with “Blessed” adamant that he won the rematch. He will get an opportunity to reclaim his belt at UFC 276 and is brimming with confidence ahead of their trilogy.

“I’m excited for the challenge,” Holloway said. “I can’t wait to go out there. Tune in Saturday, you guys do not want to miss this. It’s gonna be amazing, it’s gonna be great, and I feel good. I can’t put into words, but when you got a feeling about something, you got a feeling, and I’m ready to show it.”

UFC 276 takes place Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on ABC/ESPN and early prelims on ESPN+.