The third 25-minute fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway was the most one-sided of the series as Volkanovski dominated the main event of UFC 276.
Ahead of UFC 276, featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski had told Cageside Press that he saw his third fight with Max Holloway as a legacy fight, even having defeated the Hawaiian twice previously.
Holloway, for his part, had been fired up all week — and clearly he wanted his old belt back.
Regardless of the score between the two, Volkanovski vs. Holloway 3 had all the makings of a classic.
The fight started out with feints on both sides and a leg kick landing for both. Holloway went to the body as Volkanovski tried to catch him with a big right hand. Both men landed body kicks then Volkanovski landed a right hand. Volkanovski threw out a pair of combinations, then was caught by a right. A left hand landed for Volkanovski, who followed with a combination and a right. Holloway had yet to find his rhythm and Volkanovski was trash talking him while landing combinations. A big right stunned Holloway briefly. A left from Volkanovski was answered by a right from Holloway. The round ended after a spinning backfist attempt from Holloway.
Holloway came out with a leg kick, but a right hand caught him clean. Holloway connected with another leg kick as he avoided a pair of flurries from Volkanovski. A big right landed for Volkanovski after a left hit Holloway. Volkanovski initiated the first clinch of the fight but could not get Holloway down. He landed an elbow on the exit then hit a huge right that cut Holloway open. Holloway landed a leg kick then ate a few jabs without much contest. Volkanovski landed a jab, then ate a few straight punches. An inside leg kick knocked Holloway off balance, but he snapped back and landed a knee to the body. The round came to an end and the corner of Holloway was able to close up a bad cut over his left eye.
Volkanovski started the third round with a series of jabs. Holloway was able to start landing kicks, but that didn’t deter Volkanovski from continuing to land punches at a high rate. Volkanovski clinched with Holloway after the challenger came in with a knee. Holloway defended a takedown then ate a spinning back elbow on the exit. Volkanovski cracked Holloway with a right. The challenger landed a knee but Volkanovski answered with a pair of huge hooks. The round ended after a right straight from Holloway.
Volkanovski clinched with Holloway to start the fourth round as Holloway missed a hook. Again, Holloway defended the takedown, so Volkanovski dropped it and threw a heavy combination. Holloway dodged a few punches from Volkanovski and landed a left. The challenger nearly timed a takedown, but Volkanovski stayed on his feet and landed another right hand. The jab of Volkanovski stayed in his opponent’s face to the end of the round.
Holloway shot for a takedown to start the final round, but Volkanovski defended well and pushed Holloway against the fence. They broke apart and Volkanovski got back to his striking clinic. Holloway was bloodied up beyond belief and Volkanovski rode out the final minutes in dominant fashion, defending his title once again.
After the fight, Volkanovski said he’d like to go for the lightweight belt to keep both divisions busy.
Alexander Volkanovski def. Max Holloway by Unanimous Decision (50-45 x3)