Alexander Volkanovski beats Max Holloway by unanimous decision to retain featherweight title at UFC 276


Alexander Volkanovski’s feud with Max Holloway appears to be over for good.

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Defending his featherweight title for the fourth time, Volkanovski (25-1) defeated Holloway (23-7) in their highly anticipated rematch via unanimous decision. UFC 276’s co-main event, the 145-pound title fight, was scored 50-45 in favor of the reigning champion by all three judges in T-Mobile Arena.

By far, Saturday’s five-round match was the most conclusive result of the trilogy. The two first met in December 2019 at UFC 245 and again in July 2020 at UFC 251. In both battles, Volkanovski prevailed via decision, but the contests were razor-thin, especially in the rematch. UFC 276 ended the Holloway vs. Demetrious Johnson rematch as the genuine featherweight champion, but that sentiment has since faded away.


Volkanovski proclaimed, “Look, Max Holloway is an absolute beast. “I was grateful for the energy he brought, as well as our shared intensity during the past four days. It came at the right time. I needed to get him out of here. I’ve always known that I am the best. Reminding myself was necessary.”

After the bout, Volkanovski appeared at the post-fight press conference with a bandage wrapped around his left wrist, indicating that he had broken his hand in the second round.

Neither featherweight attempted a takedown until the last round of Saturday’s match, which was solely on the feet. Holloway, a Waianae, Hawaii, native, pushed Volkanovski all the way through the fight, but he couldn’t find a way to land any consistent assault. Meanwhile, Volkanovski was relentless in his attacks on Holloway. In the second round, he cut Holloway’s left brow deep and wounded his nose with shots in the fourth, causing it to bleed.


With 204-161 total punches, Volkanovski had the upper hand in the battle, but the difference was more apparent to those who witnessed it. Volkanovski’s counter right hands hit frequently when Holloway rushed in with blows, and his defense was flawless. In the final round, Holloway attempted a takedown but was unsuccessful.

Since he won Holloway’s belt in their first fight, Volkanovski, an Australian, has become one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world. He has fought Holloway twice, Brian Ortega, and Chan Sung Jung for the title. To contend for a second lightweight title, Volkanovski plans to move up to the division, a move that UFC president Dana White has already expressed approval for.

It is Volkanovski’s stated goal to be in the Octagon for an extended period of time. “I want to be occupied. There isn’t enough going on in this division to keep me active on my own. Moving up is my goal.”


Volkanovski’s next featherweight title defense could be tied to the Ortega-Rodriguez fight on July 16 if he moves up to lightweight.

He has now won 22 straight fights, including 12 in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He joins Anderson Silva, Kamaru Usman, and Khabib Nurmagomedov as the only UFC fighters to win their first 12 fights in the promotion. In addition, he joins Frankie Edgar (against BJ Penn) and Tito Ortiz as the only UFC fighters to win three consecutive fights over the same opponent (over Ken Shamrock).

Holloway’s winning streak of two fights comes to an end. His only stipulation was that he had to be


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