LAS VEGAS – Max Holloway’s reign of terror at featherweight has reached the end of the first existence of a former 200-pound rugby player turned into an MMA fighter.
Alexander Volkanovsky brought with him an impeccable performance, complete with explosive explosions combining leg kick and kick to claim the 145-pound title unanimously beyond his undisputed UFC featherweight champion.
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The match was a high energy chess match. Volkanovsky suspended Holloway’s efforts to gain momentum whenever it seemed that Hawaii was willing to raise the intensity of its annoyance.
Initially, Volkanovsky used kicks to prevent Holloway from planting and shooting. As soon as it appeared Holloway had figured out how to avoid getting the driver’s leg eaten, Volkanovski shifted to a plowing strategy forward and started a punch burst that ended with a left hook.
It was clear that Holloway could not find his pace, as Volkanovski refused to commit to an approach and kept the champion out of balance. Holloway was not without his moments, however, and found success in the middle rounds when the two traded strikes. He would sink a hook into his body or break Volkanovski’s head with a jab, but as soon as Holloway appeared ready to catch a wave, Volkanovski threw him off his proverbial plank.
Built like a small tank, Volkanovski’s box 5-6 left few openings to find Holloway. The Australian fighter, meanwhile, managed to keep Holloway fighting from his back foot.
As the hole continued to deepen for Holloway, Volkanovski stayed in the game and continued to find ways to land the left hook and prevent Holloway from building momentum.
In the end, the judges saw it in favor of Volkanovski with results 48-47, 48-47 and 50-45. A new sheriff is in charge of the featherweight division.
TagsToTranslateMixed Martial Arts