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‘It was rough’: Volkanovski lifts lid on ‘ridiculous’ drug test drama before second Holloway fight

Australian UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski has revealed the full details of the “ridiculous” drug test that disrupted his preparation before his second fight with Max Holloway.

Speaking after defeating Holloway for a third time – this one a unanimous decision win at UFC 276 – Volkanovski said he had waited until this moment to divulge further information on the test.

“Now I can say it because I went and [have] done that to Max,” Volkanovski said at the post-fight press conference.

“That second fight with Max, when I tell you I didn’t turn up, there’s a few things that happened.”

It was already public knowledge that anti-doping authority USADA had called Volkanovski at 10pm the night before the second fight with Holloway, requesting he provide a urine sample.

The Australian though took this opportunity to reveal that in an attempt to regulate his sleep he had taken melatonin tablets, a decision Volkanovski admits in hindsight was “silly”.

“We obviously know about USADA coming and waking me up four hours before I had to get up, which was ridiculous, don’t know how that happened and how that could happen,” Volkanovski said.

“I’m over that. But I ended up doing silly things as well. I took melatonin tablets… and then I woke up like drunk, well not drunk but it was rough. But I’m not the type of guy to make excuses. I’m telling you now because I got to shut everyone up. I got to silence a lot of people.

“That’s why I was confident coming into this one. I was saying I didn’t turn up, he turned up and he still couldn’t beat me.”

Volkanovski’s coach, Joe Lopez, told that the 33-year-old woke up feeling “really, really” flat on the morning of the second fight.

“We had to be down in the lobby at like four in the morning… so the sleep pattern and everything got broken up and he was really, really flat that morning,” he said.

“I think I said something to him in the third round. If you don’t start, you know, winning these rounds, you’re going to lose the title. I don’t know whether that picked him up or whatever he did but from the third round on, he picked his pace up.”

It was a far more comfortable result for Volkanovski this time around as the Australian finally put his rivalry with Holloway behind him.

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