After falling to 0-3 to Volkanovski at UFC 276, where does Max Holloway go from here?

Daniel Cunningham

This past Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 276, we saw the conclusion of a classic featherweight trilogy. Champion Alexander Volkanovski (25-1) was looking to defend his title as he took on the former champion Max Holloway (23-7).

These two men first met at UFC 245 in 2019. At the time, Max Holloway was looked at as an unbeatable champion at 145 pounds. However, Volkanovski had a tremendous game plan and won a clear decision to take the belt from Holloway.

They had a rematch at UFC 251 and it was an extremely close fight. Many, including myself, scored the fight for Holloway. However, I could see the argument for a Volkanovski win. Nevertheless, Volkanovski won the split decision to go 2-0 in the series.



They finally met again at UFC 276. Holloway fought hard to prove he was worthy of a third shot and many thought he’d take the belt back. However, Volkanovski proved once and for all that he was the better man on Saturday night.

From the opening bell, Holloway was having a ton of trouble with the speed. Volkanovski was beating him to the punch all night and Holloway never got going. His face was painted in blood and he was shut out on the scorecards after five rounds.

What’s next after UFC 276?

In my pre-fight preview, I picked Volkanovski because I thought his speed would be an advantage. However, I didn’t think it would be as big of an advantage as it ended up being. This fight was drastically one-sided and that’s crazy considering how good Holloway is.

When a UFC fighter goes 0-2 against the champion we view them as being in a difficult spot. Well, Holloway is a rare case that got a third fight despite going 0-2. Now, he’s lost the third fight and is looking at an 0-3 record against the champ at 145.

It’s rather obvious that Holloway will never get another shot at UFC gold at 145 with Volk as champion. With that in mind, what should Holloway do next? Well, there are a few options at 145, but there’s one option I like the most.

Holloway and Conor McGregor have gone back-and-forth for some time regarding a potential rematch. McGregor is looking to return at the end of the year or beginning of 2023 and Holloway is in no-man’s land right now.

Perhaps Holloway should take some time to bulk up and move to 155 pounds. If he can do that, he just might be the UFC’s pick for a return bout with McGregor. If not, there are plenty of contenders left for him to face at 145 pounds.