Alexander Volkanovski Retains Title with Win via Decision vs. Max Holloway at UFC 276

Alex BallentineJuly 3, 2022

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - JULY 02: Alexander Volkanovski of Australia punches Max Holloway in the UFC featherweight championship fight during the UFC 276 event at T-Mobile Arena on July 02, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Alexander Volkanovski once again proved to be too much for Max Holloway, defending his title against the Hawaiian via unanimous decision at UFC 276 from T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

The victory for Volkanovski should close the book on what has been an epic trilogy.

Despite their familiarity with one another, there was still an extended feeling-out process in Round 1. However, once they started throwing hands it was Volkanovski's quickness that stood out.

That trend continued as nearly every advance from Blessed was met with sharp counters from the Australian. By the end of the second round, Volkanovski opened up a nasty cut over Holloway's eye.

UFC @ufc

Max sporting some face paint 🩸 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/UFC276?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#UFC276</a> <a href="https://t.co/52flxjKRNc">pic.twitter.com/52flxjKRNc</a>

While the quickness was impressive from the champion, his technical prowess was on display too. He consistently set up his strikes and frustrated Holloway with his ability to throw off his rhythm.

Kenny Florian @kennyflorian

While the commentary seems to revolve around the speed of Volk, I’m more impressed by the traps that Alexander is setting up with his jab. Whether he’s luring Max in and countering or freezing Max up with feints and attacking, Volk is looking improved yet again.

Volkanovski is in the middle of an epic run in the featherweight division, but this fight is his most complete to date. The way he dismantled Holloway to make his career record against Blessed 3-0 is the kind of thing that will be used in Greatest of All-Time debates for years to come.

The reigning champion defeated Holloway in the first fight, with most scorecards coming out three rounds to two in favor of the Australian. However, their rematch at UFC 251 was much more controversial. An overwhelming number of fans and media believed Holloway did enough to take the belt that night.

That left enough interest in the matchup to book a third fight despite Volkanovski holding a 2-0 advantage.

As for what's next, Volkanovski is excited to close the book on this matchup and take on a new challenge: champ-champ status.

"After this one, I want that double-champ status," Volkanovski told Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated. "My division is in a spot where we can see what happens while I go after that double-champ lightweight title fight."

Volkanovski has certainly earned the right to test himself in a new division. He fought his UFC debut at 155 pounds in 2016 and has been unbeaten since moving down to 145 pounds. He now has four successful title defenses.

If he can successfully take another title, it would give him a great case as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC. At just 5'6" with a 71" reach, he's much smaller than former lightweight champion Charles Oliveira at 5'10" with a 74" reach.