Australia’s Alexander Volkanovski beats Max Holloway to defend featherweight title at UFC 276

Australia’s Alexander Volkanovski has defeated Max Holloway for the third time in his career, defending his featherweight title by unanimous decision with a dominant striking performance at UFC 276 in Las Vegas.

Key points:

  • Volkanovski won every round on all three judges’ scorecards, 50-45
  • He extended his winning streak to 22 fights
  • The Australian had previously defeated Holloway in 2019 and 2020

Volkanovski (25-1) extended his winning streak to 22 fights with a commanding display against American Holloway (23-7), the former champion at 145 pounds.

The Australian executed a sharp boxing game plan against one of the UFC’s best punchers, bloodying Holloway’s face early on and steadily increasing the punishment into the final minutes.

The penultimate bout of UFC 276 concluded a memorable trilogy between Volkanovski and Holloway, likely the two greatest featherweights in UFC history outside of long-reigning champ Jose Aldo.

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Volkanovski won two highly competitive fights by decision over Holloway in 2019 and 2020, but Holloway won his next two fights to reassert his claim to another shot at the belt he held for three years.

“Max Holloway is an absolute beast,” Volkanovski said.

Two proficient strikers understandably kept the fight on their feet, but the smaller Volkanovski capably closed the distance to do damage in the first two rounds, particularly in opening a nasty cut above Holloway’s left eye.

Holloway’s answers dwindled as his cuts grew larger, and Volkanovski patiently racked up scoring shots to leave no doubt over the decision.

Holloway’s entire face was crimson at the final bell. Volkanovski won every round on all three judges’ scorecards, 50-45.

Israel Adesanya also retained his middleweight belt with a tepid unanimous-decision victory over Jared Cannonier in the main event.

Before the title fights, Alex Pereira demolished Sean Strickland with strikes midway through the first round of a victory that burnished the Brazilian kickboxing champion’s status as an immediate title contender.

AP

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