Alexander Volkanovski had to fight tooth and nail to defend his featherweight title last night (Sat., July 11, 2020) at UFC 251 live on ESPN+ PPV from inside Flash Forum in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, but “The Great” eventually edged out former champion Max Holloway in their co-main event rematch,
Volkanovski started the fight by attacking Holloway’s lead leg, but “Blessed” returned favor with some crisp combinations and counters inside. Holloway followed up with a stiff right hand along the cage that briefly wobbled the champ. The Hawaiian would then find a home for a head kick with seconds left in the round, which knocked Volkanovski to one knee.
In Round 2, Volkanovski went back to his leg kicks before Holloway scored another combination that backed the champion up. Volkanovski would try to push forward to keep things close, but Holloway’s shot selection and movement were precise. Holloway ended up landing a perfectly-timed uppercut at the end of the frame that knocked Volkanovski down again.
The third round saw Holloway land a beautiful flying knee along the cage. Volkanovski tried to score a takedown but “Blessed” defended nicely. Holloway would land another knee inside off a break from clinch. The champ would return some offense with a stiff jab with moments remaining that seemed to bother Holloway’s nose.
In the fourth frame, Holloway’s leg really started to red from countless Volkanovski kicks. Holloway shook it off though, to land another sharp uppercut inside. The champ responded with a whipping leg kick with under a minute remaining that briefly put Holloway on a knee. “Blessed” pushed through again and scored with a hard right hand with seconds left.
Holloway was able to land a nice head kick to start Round 5. Volkanovski pushed his way inside and then landed a nice punch off the clinch. Both fighters exchanged strikes in bunches, but Holloway seemed to pack a little more sting. That was until Volkanovski soared inside for a takedown, only to see Holloway return to his feet seconds later. Volkanovski would land another with moments left in the fight that essentially sealed the fight, as the champion walked away with the split decision win.
Check out the video highlights below courtesy of UFC/ESPN:
For complete UFC 251 results and coverage click here.