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UFC 251 results: Alex Volkanovski holds off Max Holloway by split decision to retain 145-pound title

Alexander Volkanovski took a razor thin split decision over Max Holloway to retain his featherweight belt in the UFC 251 co-main event.

The UFC 251 co-main event witnessed a featherweight title fight rematch between the defending champ, Alexander Volkanovski, and the former king, Max Holloway. This time around it was Holloway who got off to a strong start with drops in the first and second rounds, but a late rally from Volkanovski in close championship rounds aided him in taking the split decision to retain his belt. Do you agree with the decision?

Holloway took the center of the Octagon to kick things off, with Volkanovski circling long the outside. Volkanovski attacked the legs like he did in the first fight. Holloway got a lot more active with his punches, tagging the champ on the inside. Then with 10-seconds left in the round, Holloway dropped Volkanovski with a head kick.

Holloway stalked forward in the second act. He was throwing his punches three at a time, and was landing. Volkanovski was able to regroup, but was still stuck on the outside getting sniped. Holloway seemed dialed in and dropped Volkanovski again at the end of the round, this time with an uppercut.

Volkanovski came out throwing leg kicks again in the third round, but Max quickly regained command of the cage. A couple of power punches got through for Volkanovski, and then he shot in for a takedown. Holloway did solid job of staying on his feet and working back into open space. The left hook of the champ started to find a home around the right eye of Holloway, but the former title holder seemed unfazed.

The fighters went right at each other in the fourth frame. Volkanovski attacked the lead leg while Holloway worked his punching combinations. Just when the round seemed pretty even, Holloway blasted Volkanovski with another flurry that got his attention. Volkanovski blasted a takedown in response, but Holloway stood right back to his feet. Towards the end of the round, Alexander Volkanovski scored with a flurry of his own, but then Max responded with a violent barrage before the bell.

Volkanovski swung his way into the clinch to open the final round, but Holloway would not be controlled and escaped to the center of the Octagon. Holloway began to pressure his foe, backing up Volkanovski. A takedown was realized by Volkanovski, but Holloway sprung right back tp his feet. Both men were landing back and forth in what was a really close round. Holloway kept stuffing takedown attempts and kept moving forward. Volkanovski hit a last second takedown, but did nothing with it before running out of time.

Alexander Volkanovski def. Max Holloway by split decision (48-47 x2, 47-48): Featherweight Title