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Coach ‘lost for words’ after Alex Volkanovski's ‘masterclass’ performance at UFC 276: He’s the best

“Like, respectfully, if that’s not the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, then I don’t know who is.”

UFC 276: Volkanovski v Holloway 3
Alexander Volkanovski puts on a masterclass performance against Max Holloway at UFC 276.
Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

City Kickboxing head coach Eugene Bareman was at a loss for words following Alexander Volkanovski’s five-round masterclass against Max Holloway at UFC 276.

Bareman was confident Volkanovski would win, but even he was surprised with just how dominant ‘The Great’ was on fight night.

It was a world-class performance. A complete shutout. So it’s no wonder fans are currently debating whether Volkanovski (25-1 MMA, 12-0 UFC), who beat Holloway for a third time at UFC 276, deserves to surpass Kamaru Usman in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings and claim the #1 spot.

For Bareman, the answer is obvious.

“Oh man, I’m lost for words, man,” Bareman told Submission Radio. “Like, it’s just… the team, me, Joe, Alex, the coaches, we talked about a masterclass, about just cementing, solidifying every round and just being convincing. S***, I didn’t know he’d be that convincing. I didn’t know that. As much as I’ve gotten to know Alex over the years, the guy could still have a performance like that and still leave me gob-smacked. I’m like, wow. Just when you think he’s good and he’s at his best, he finds another level. And just, what a masterclass. Like, respectfully, if that’s not the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, then I don’t know who is.”

He’s the best on the planet. He was the best after the first fight with Max. Max was the best, and then we beat him. And then people still didn’t – there was still some doubters. And then the second fight was close, but we still won. And then there was still some doubters. I was never in doubt. I knew Alex was the better fighter from the start. I didn’t think we had to have the second fight. I definitely didn’t think we needed the third fight to prove that. Now, it’s not important to me, it’s not important to me, but it does get important to Alex and it does get important to the team. Recognize what he is. He’s the best featherweight in the world. He’s the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world right now. And if you can’t see that, if you can’t see that, then I’m not gonna insult you, then you need to learn more about his sport and understand this sport better and just get into the sport more. But that’s what I would like for people to walk away from this performance with. That’s the best fighter on the planet at this very moment.”

Volkanovski is now 3-0 against Holloway in title fights, having previously beat ‘Blessed’ to win the featherweight title in 2019 and then again in 2020 to defend the belt. He is currently #2 in the UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings.