Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway for the featherweight belt at UFC 245 was a bit of a shocker. There were those that thought Volkanovski would win, but very few expected him to do it without needing a single takedown. That’s right, Volkanovski out-struck Holloway over the course of five rounds to capture the UFC 145-pound strap. Volkanovski used a varied kicking attack to chop away at the legs of Holloway, and coupled that with some slick boxing over the top. He even won all five rounds on one of the judge’s scorecard. The ‘blessed’ era is over.
What was the highlight of the fight?
The highlight of the fight was probably all of the leg kicks that Volkanovski landed. They were inside. They were outside. They were to the calf. They were to the thigh. They were to the right leg. They were to the left leg. This was by far the best striking performance that we’ve seen from Volkanovski thus far, and were a major key to victory for him.
Where do these two go from here?
Is an immediate rematch in order? If Holloway is the greatest featherweight of all time, then who is more deserving of a rematch? So if a rematch isn’t next on the docket, then perhaps the surging Russian, Zabit Magomedsharipov, could be next in line. The winner of the upcoming match between Frankie Edgar and the Korean Zombie could also be a next opponent for the newly crowned champ. Another possible contender could be the flashy striker, Yair Rodriguez. Any and all of these fighters would be fun matchups.
As for Holloway, outside of an instant rematch, he could very well move up to lightweight. He has already beaten a lot of what featherweight has to offer, so 155-pounds could open up some new and interesting possibilities. If he stays at 145-pounds, then he could face guys like the aforementioned Magomedsharipov and Rodriguez in title eliminators. He should get an instant rematch though... right?
Watch now, later, or never?
This was a solid standup scrap with zero takedowns — a high level game of human chess if you will. There weren’t any knockdowns or major wow moments, so you can go ahead and watch this one later on.