The battle of the best featherweights on the planet – Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway will happen for the third time this week. The first two fights between these athletes were very close, but in each of them, the Australian won. Will Max Holloway be able to take revenge and reclaim the belt?
Alexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway: Predictions, Odds, Analysis
Alexander Volkanovski Preview
Alex is a 33-year-old fighter from Australia. He began his professional career in 2012 and signed with the UFC 4 years later. Volkanovski's road to the title was a long one. Due to the fact that the Australian was considered a boring fighter and lacked media coverage, Volkanovski went on a streak of 7 wins in a row to become the main contender.
The first duel between Alex and Max took place in December 2019. Alex was well prepared for the fight and did not leave the champion a single chance. The matchmakers organized an opportunity for immediate revenge, which took place in July 2020. Volkanovski defeated Holloway by a split decision.
After a close fight with Holloway, Alex made 2 more successful defenses. In September 2021, he defeated Brian Ortega via unanimous decision. Volkanovski's last fight was in April 2022. His opponent was the Korean Zombie. Alex won by TKO in the 4th round.
Alexander is a versatile fighter. He relies on developed kickboxing skills, tries to break the opponent on different floors and approaches the fight tactically.
On the ground, the fighter is successful due to his background in Greco-Roman wrestling. He controls the opponent well on the ground, takes dominant positions and breaks the opponent with devastating ground and pound.
Max Holloway Preview
Max is a 30-year-old American fighter. He joined the UFC in 2012 and was taken to submission by Dustin Poirier in his debut. Max's path to the title was not easy. He came to the promotion as a regular fighter with little background in amateur kickboxing.
For the first two years, he tried to develop independently, but this did not bring success. Only in 2013, having gone on a series of 2 defeats in a row: from Denise Bermudez and Conor McGregor, Holloway began to work out in a decent gym and even hired a personal trainer.
In 2017 Max was on a 10-win streak and was the interim champion. Holloway won the title in June 2017.
Max declassified Brian Ortega in 2018. The challenger took so much damage that he had to take a break of 2 years to recover. In 2019, Holloway moved up to lightweight for the interim title. But the transition to another division was spontaneous and Holloway did not spend time preparing. He decided to just not lose weight, instead of gaining extra muscle mass. As a result, he was beaten by Dustin Poirier.
Holloway made his last successful title defense in July 2019, defeating Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision. After the duology with Volkanovski, Max went on a series of 2 victories in a row. In January 2021, he defeated Calvin Kattar on points. Holloway's last fight took place in November of that year. His opponent was Yair Rodriguez. Max won by unanimous decision.
Holloway's main strength is standing work. Despite not having knockout power, he has excellent boxing technique. He performs effective protracted combinations, which creates the effect of accumulating damage on the opponent.
Despite the fact that no one could finish Holloway, according to statistics, he is in 2nd place in the number of missed strikes in the organization.
Volkanovski vs Holloway Prediction: Holloway To Win
Alex Volkanovski is truly one of the best featherweights at the moment. Yes, he does not have the richest arsenal of strikes and tricks, but he is effective with his own skills, which leave no chance to most opponents. But therein lies his problem. Max and even Brian Ortega punished the champion for being monotonous and predictable. Did Volkanovski change something after that? No. He went into battle with the Zombie with the same preparations and with the same techniques that he had in 2014-2016. He didn't add anything new.
Max, on the contrary, develops from fight to fight. Either he spends the entire fight at a high pace, shooting the opponent with various blows from incredible angles, or he tries to show that his skills in BJJ have grown. No, we don't believe Holloway will successfully wrestle Alex or try to submit him. It just shows the growth of a fighter. He draws conclusions not only from the lost fights and continues to progress.
It is the variety of techniques and understanding of the moment that can make Holloway a champion again. He will again effectively hit Volkanovski with drawn crosses, and punches from different angles can lead to a couple more flush knockdowns in Max's performance. It is the extra confidence in his invulnerability and effectiveness that can lead to the fact that Alexander Volkanovski will lose the title.
If you are interested in our predictions for the full card of UFC 276: Adesanya vs Cannonier, follow this link. And if you want to read an in-depth analysis of the main event of the evening, continue with this link.