In the co-main event of UFC 276, we saw the third installment of a title fight between two of the best of all time. Champion Alexander Volkanovski (24-1) was looking to defend his featherweight title against Max Holloway (23-6).
Entering UFC 245 in December of 2019, Max Holloway was looked at as an unbeatable champion. However, nobody told that to Alexander Volkanovski. Volkanovski went into Las Vegas and shocked the world by defeating Holloway by decision.
They had an immediate rematch at UFC 251 on Fight Island. This second fight was much closer. Fans and judges were split on the outcome. I personally scored the fight for Max Holloway. However, two judges gave the fight to Volkanovski and he retained the title.
Since then, Holloway has had two huge wins against Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez to earn himself another shot. Meanwhile, the UFC champion has demolished Bryan Ortega and Chan Sung Jung. Make no mistake about it, these are the two best and tonight they fought for the third time.
UFC 276 Recap
The UFC featherweight title fight kicked off with a touch of the gloves. Holloway takes the center and Volkanovski circles on the outside. Both men are feinting kicks here in the opening minute. Low kick from Volkanovski lands.
Holloway looks for a jab to the body. High kick attempt from Holloway and Volkanovski throws another low kick. Low kick from Holloway. Holloway looks for another jab to the body and Volkanovski just misses a huge uppercut counter. Both men trade head kicks.
Nice right hand from the champion. Jab from Volkanovski and he throws another nice right behind it. Big right hand again from Volkanovski. Holloway back on the pressure and he lands a couple of kicks.
Holloway comes in but eats a couple of clean shots from Volkanovski. Low kick from Volkanovski and he looks for two lefts. Huge right hand from Volkanovski. 1-2 from Volkanovski and he’s talking to Holloway. High kick attempt from Holloway.
Check left hook from Volkanovski and he’s connecting clean on Holloway. The speed is a big problem for Holloway who is clipped hard with two lefts. Another huge left from Volkanovski. The UFC champion is looking sensational.
Big jab from Volkanovski and Holloway answers with a big right. Now Holloway lands a couple of clean shots. The round comes to a close and it’s 1-0 Volkanovski at UFC 276.
Entering the second at UFC 276 and Holloway needs to try and get some respect here. He’s the one taking the center to start the second and he lands a low kick. Right over the top from Holloway but he’s caught clean by Volkanovski.
Low kick from the champion. Holloway really upping the pressure here. Check left lands for Volkanovski and Holloway answers with combination. Huge right hand lands for Volkanovski that backs up Holloway.
Jab from Volkanovski but Holloway is really heavy on the pressure. They clinch and Volkanovski pushes Holloway against the fence. Big elbow in the clinch from Volkanovski and he pushes Holloway back. Holloway separates but eats another big elbow.
Left from Volkanovski but Holloway answers with a few shots. Huge right from Volkanovski and Holloway is cut badly. Holloway pushes forward and looks to jab. Two more big shots from Volkanovski land. Stiff jab from the champion answered by a body kick from Holloway.
Low kick from Volkanovski. Big jab into a combination for Volkanovski. Long jab lands for Holloway. Right straight lands for Holloway but he gets buckled by a leg kick. Round comes to a close and the champion is up 2-0 at UFC 276.
Entering the third at UFC 276 and Holloway desperately needs to get going here. Holloway takes the center and immediately looks for his jab. Jab from Volkanovski and he lands a nice right hand behind it. Check left from Volkanovski.
Two more jabs from the champion. Holloway is very measured here in the third as he’s looking for openings. Volkanovski evades an attack from Holloway and his defense is on point. Both men trade left hands.
Lots of pressure from Holloway and Volkanovski looks for a right over the top. Sharp 1-2 from the champion and then another combination. Holloway attacks but eats a right. Low kick from Volkanovski but Holloway lands a clean left hand.
Big combination from Volkanovski who lands three straight big shots. Holloway jumps right into a clinch and Volkanovski pushes him back. Knee to the body from Volkanovski. Holloway reverses and these two are just reversing each other.
Both men connect with knees to the body. Spinning elbow from Volkanovski on the break. Jab from Volkanovski lands and Holloway goes back on the pressure. Huge right connects clean for the champ. Another nice combination from Volkanovski.
Holloway comes in but eats a right hand. Low kick from Volkanovski but Holloway lands a nice jumping knee. Right hand and a huge clean left from Volkanovski. Round comes to a close and Volkanovski is pitching a shutout at UFC 276.
Entering the fourth at UFC 276 and Holloway is going to need a finish or a big final couple of rounds here. They touch gloves and here we go. Holloway opens with a body kick and the two men connect for a clinch. Volkanovski steps away briefly and lands a nice combination before they clinch again.
Heavy cage pressure from Volkanovski and then he breaks with two big right hands. Jab from Volkanovski but Holloway counters with a clean body kick and right hand. Lead left hook lands clean for Volkanovski. Body kick for Holloway lands.
Jab for Volkanovski and he circles on the outside. Spinning back kick for Holloway and then he lands another body kick. Nice right hand for Volkanovski and Holloway lands a left. Low kick from Volkanovski and a left up top.
Body kick from Holloway. Jab to the body for Volkanovski and then he lands a big right over the top. Volkanovski slips and Holloway almost gets a takedown, but Volkanovski shrugs him off. Nice hook to the body from the champion. Right hand for the champion.
Spinning back kick for Holloway lands. He steps in after but eats a huge combination from Volkanovski. Two more good kicks from Holloway, but he eats a couple of clean counters from Volkanovski. Another spinning attack from Holloway.
Double jab from the champion. Big jab for the champion and a low kick. Spinning back kick from Holloway as the round ends. Close round and it was the best round for Holloway but it could easily be 4-0 for Volkanovski at UFC 276.
Entering the final round at UFC 276 and Holloway’s only chance is a finish. They touch gloves for the final round and here we go. Check left hook and a low kick from Volkanovski. Holloway tries a level change and a takedown, but Volkanovski defends easily.
They clinch and Volkanovski has reversed to the dominant position. Knee to the body from Volkanovski and they break. Low kick from Volkanovski. Body kick from Volkanovski and then he looks for one up top that just misses.
Holloway is busted up here in the fifth. Low kick from Volkanovski and Holloway’s leg buckled. Holloway trying to really pressure but he’s eating jabs from the champ. Another takedown attempt from Holloway and again, Volkanovski defends easily.
Halfway through the final round at UFC 276 and Holloway needs a miracle. Big combination on the break for Volkanovski. Low kick from Volkanovski and he lands a nice jab behind it. Check left hook from Volkanovski.
Two more kicks for good measure for Volkanovski. Holloway is a bloody mess. Two more big jabs from Volkanovski and now he’s pouring it on. Huge shots from the champion. Holloway tries pushing forward but there’s nothing there.
Right hand for the champion. Double jab from Volkanovski and he’s continuing to bust up Holloway. The fight comes to a close and it was complete domination from Volkanovski at UFC 276.
Alexander Volkanovski def. Max Holloway by Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)