Although Holloway is a big dog in this bout, it’s worth noting that he was one of the UFC’s top pound-for-pound fighters before losing to Volkanovksi.
One of the title fights that’s on the line at UFC 251 will be the Alexander Volkanovksi-Max Holloway rematch. Volkanovksi beat Holloway like a drum at UFC 245, hammering away with leg kicks until Holloway couldn’t take it anymore. It was a unanimous decision win for Volkanovksi back in December and Holloway wanted an immediate rematch. If “Blessed” is to beat Volkanovski this time an reclaim his Featherweight Championship, he better be prepared for the onslaught of leg kicks and non-stop pressure that Volkanovksi is known for. The current champ checks in as the -205 favourite on the UFC odds board.
Alexander Volkanovski UFC Odds
Although it was merely a decision win for Volkanovksi back in December, many people forget how decisive that win was. The final judges’ scorecards showed that Volkanovksi had a 157-134 lead with strikes. Many of those were vicious leg kicks, which really wore down Holloway as the fight wore on.
In general, Holloway figured out what many others have with Volkanovksi: he’s extremely aggressive, accurate and he brings a lot of pressure. He seems to have endless amounts of stamina and unless Holloway finds a way to slow him down, we’re going to see the same fight play out. Volkanovksi is the shorter of the two fighters (he’s 5-foot-6 while Holloway is 5-foot-11) but Volkanovksi has a 2.5-inch reach advantage, which is key.
Volkanovksi has won 18 fights in a row and has vowed to knockout (or end this fight) before it hits the judges’ scorecards. That’ll be tough because Holloway hasn’t been knocked out in his career and was finished just once. At any rate, it looks like Volkanovksi isn’t going to be slowing down here, so it’s just a matter of whether Holloway has a new game plan or can execute something differently this time around.
Max Holloway UFC Fight Island Odds
Although Holloway is a big dog in this bout, it’s worth noting that he was one of the UFC’s top pound-for-pound fighters before the loss to Volkanovksi. We’re talking about a guy who had only lost four times in his career before the Volkanovksi fight with two losses to Dustin Poirier and one to Conor McGregor. He has mostly only lost to elite fighters. The challenge here is that Volkanovksi appears elite and he seems to have Holloway’s number.
The main challenge for Holloway here is that he clearly can’t expect to keep this fight standing and win. It just didn’t work for him last time. However, Volkanovski has excellent takedown defence, so that’s likely not an option.
The key where will be for Holloway to use Volkanovski’s strategy: whip him with leg kicks. If he can do that and slow him down, that might turn the tides here enough for him to get the win. Absent of that – or some other new strategy – he’ll have a tough time picking up a win.
UFC 251 Card: Volkanovski vs. Holloway Prediction