Australian featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski insists questions about the legitimacy of his first two victories against Max Holloway weren't what motivated him to agree to a third fight at UFC 276.
Instead, Volkanovski hopes by completing a clean sweep of his trilogy with the former title-holder, he can consolidate his place in MMA history.
Volkanovski will fight Holloway in Las Vegas on July 3 after first defeating the American in 2019 and claiming the featherweight belt in an upset.
The pair's second fight in 2020 proved controversial, with MMA fighters including Justin Gaethje, Dan Henderson and Uriah Hall publicly questioning whether Volkanovski deserved his split-decision victory at the time.
But Volkanovski said the desire to prove his critics wrong was not the primary reason for fighting Holloway once more.
"That's not why I took this fight," Volkanovski said.
"I did originally want this trilogy to shut people up but right now it's not about that. This fight is going to be a legacy fight for me.
"Taking (Holloway) out again will really put my name out there and raise me up a lot more. That's why I've taken this fight."
Volkanovski has defended his belt four times since winning it from Holloway and said he'd developed as a fighter in that time.
Most recently, he dominated Chan Sung Jung at UFC 273 in April to win by TKO in the fourth round.
"I'm excited for (UFC 276) just purely because of where I'm at right now," he said.
"I'm a whole different beast. I've evolved so much.
"I plan on putting a beating on (Holloway) this time. I really do want to send a statement.
"Getting that dominant win will definitely help that legacy that I want."
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.