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Max Holloway claims pyrrhic victory over Alexander Volkanovski, crowns ‘The Great’ MMA’s pound-for-pound best

The UFC 276 pay-per-view (PPV) went down this past weekend (Sat., July 2, 2022) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, in what was a star-studded mixed martial arts (MMA) event. Plenty of fighters were left feeling the post-fight blues, including Sean Strickland, who was knocked out by Alex Pereira in the first round, snapping his six-fight win streak in the process.

So was Jared Cannonier, who couldn’t muster up enough offense to put a dent in Israel Adesanya’s armor, ultimately coming up short on all three judges’ scorecards in his first-ever Middleweight title shot. But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now a few days removed from the show?

Max Holloway.

Coming into his third (and now likely final) title fight against Alexander Volkanovski, Holloway was adamant he won their previous two meetings after losing a pair of decisions. Volkanovski took the Hawaiian’s title at UFC 245 via unanimous decision, then defended the strap against “Blessed” in a split nod at UFC 251. Whether or not Holloway truly felt he won or was just trying to play mind games with “The Great” is unclear, but the fact of the matter was Holloway needed a dominant win in their third fight.

It didn’t happen.

As usual, the former champ was game (as always), taking several of Volkanovski’s shots, while trying to dish out his own. But, as great an effort as Holloway put in, Volkonvski was simply on another level. He was quicker to the punch, his striking was crisper, and his overall MMA game was just cleaner. While he couldn’t get the finish he wanted, Volkanovski left little doubt this time around because his dominance ensured that even the toughest critic (or Holloway fan) had no choice but to give the Aussie his due props.

As for the conquered Holloway, he took time to give “The Great” his respect, claiming (in jest) a pyrrhic victory in their epic trilogy.

“I’m still up 2-0 on knockdowns for the trilogy,” Holloway quipped on Twitter. “Probably gonna need a fourth (fight) to settle this. Just playing. Congrats to my brother Alex Volkanovski. Go get that ‘55 strap. You earned the shot. You’re No. 1 pound-for-pound right now.”

It was a classy statement from a classy fighter who has earned his stripes and will go down as one of the best Featherweight fighters to ever compete. But, what does the future hold for Holloway?

He can always move up to Lightweight for a new lease on his combat sports life, but the problem there is that Volkanovski is also contemplating a move up to 155 pounds. Should “The Great” capture the title, Holloway’s chances of fighting for the strap abruptly disappear. Of course, there are a lot of “what ifs” in that scenario, but perhaps moving up in weight is the best move for “Blessed.”

The Hawaiian will no longer have to worry about cutting weight (not that it was ever an issue) and he can take part in several big-money match ups en route to climbing the 155-pounds ranks for a potential shot at the division title somewhere down the road.

And perhaps rematch Charles Oliveira in the process.

For complete UFC 276 results and live play-by-play click here. To check out the latest and greatest UFC 276: “Adesanya vs. Cannonier” news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive event archive right here.

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