Alex Volkanovski wins close split decision against Max Holloway

Alex Volkanovski made the first defense of his title with a split decision win against Max Holloway at UFC 251.

In the co-main event of UFC 251, Alex Volkanovski won a split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47) against Max Holloway to defend his featherweight title.

What was the high point of the fight?

Volkanovski had success with the same inside leg kick he used frequently in the first fight against Holloway. A head kick from Holloway dropped Volkanovski at the end of the first round. Holloway’s good work on the feet continued into the second round dropping Volkanovski with an uppercut-left hook combination.

Volkanovski looked a lot better in the third and fourth round, matching Holloway’s output on the feet and trying to mix wrestling into his approach as well. The fifth round was extremely close but Volkanovski continued to improve and tried to take Holloway to the canvas.

Where do they go from here?

Although the decision will be up for debate, Volkanovski has made the first defence of his title with the win. A fight against the winner of Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Yair Rodriguez makes sense next for Volkanovski.

The loss means Holloway has only won one of his last four fights. ‘Blessed’ fought a much better fight against Volkanovski compared to their first outing, but a trilogy seems unlikely at this point. With a lot of the division booked, maybe a fight against Josh Emmett is a good one to make for Holloway.



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