Tonight’s UFC 251 pay-per-view event is co-headlined by a featherweight title fight rematch featuring Max Holloway taking on Alex Volkanovski.
Holloway (21-5 MMA) and Volkanovski (21-1 MMA) first met at December’s UFC 245 event in Toronto, where ‘The Great’ was able to dethrone ‘Blessed’ by way of a unanimous decision victory.
The title-earning victory improved the Aussie’s current win streak to a jaw-dropping eighteen fights in a row. During that impressive stretch Volkanovski has scored victories over Chad Mendes, Jose Aldo and Darren Elkins.
As for Max Holloway, the former featherweight champion has gone just 1-2 over his past three Octagon appearances. During that stretch the Hawaiian picked up a decision victory over Frankie Edgar, while suffering losses to Dustin Poirier and the aforementioned Alex Volkanovski respectively.
Round one of the UFC 251 co-main event begins and Holloway quickly takes the center of the Octagon. Alex just misses with a right hand but lands a follow up low kick. Both men miss with attempted low kicks. Volkanovski with a nice inside low kick. ‘Blessed’ with a front kick. Leg kicks from both fighters now. Another good low kick lands for the Aussie. Max with a nice front kick to the body. Alex Volkanovski leaps into the pocket but Max lands a nice counter uppercut. More leg kicks from both fighters. Volkanovksi goes upstairs with a left hand. Max Holloway is applying pressure now. He lands a straight right hand and then a body kick. He connects with a jab now. Alex lands a left hook and Max just misses with a flying knee. A nice right hand over the top lands for the Aussie. Volkanovski with another solid inside low kick. Max continues to utilize the front kick. He lands a big high kick that drops Alex to the canvas. Volkanovski pops right back up and the horn sounds to end round one.
Late knockdown with the right head kick. 10-9 Holloway. pic.twitter.com/zAledxvtdf
— Fernand Lopez (@fernandlopez) July 12, 2020
Round two of the UFC 251 co-main event begins and Max Holloway comes out quickly. He takes the center of the cage and fires off a low kick. Alex Volkanovski responds with a left hand and then a pair of low kicks. ‘Blessed’ with a beautiful combination now. The champion responds with a left hand and then a low kick. Max continues to use volume to stay ahead of Volkanovski in the strikes landed department. Max Holloway lands an uppercut that sends the Aussie to one knee. He gets up and the horn sounds to end round two.
Round three of the UFC 251 main event begins and once again Max starts off quickly. He is putting relentless pressure on the current champion. Leg kicks now from the Hawaiian. He leaps in with a flying knee that appears to land. Alex Volkanovski lands left hand to the jaw of Holloway. He presses forward and forces the clinch. Max Holloway breaks free and lands a low kick. Alex counters with a hard left hand over the top. Another left comes through for the Aussie. The former champion circles and then leaps in with a good jab. Alex replies with a crisp jab. The horn sounds to end round three.
Round four of the UFC 251 co-headliner begins and Alex Volkanovski lands a heavy low kick to get things started. He lands a left jab followed by another low kick. Max misses with a combination and Alex connects with another heavy low kick. Max Holloway attempts a flying knee. Volkanovski avoids and throws another hard low kick. ‘Blessed’ with a nice combination that ends in body shot. Holloway with a nice uppercut now. Alex Volkanovski replies with a crisp jab. He shoots in and scores a much needed takedown. The Hawaiian quickly scrambles back to his feet and breaks free from the clinch. Alex with a jab. Max misses with a high kick. One minute remains. Alex shoots for a takedown but Max stuffs it. Volkanovski with a left hand and then a right over the top. Max Holloway comes forward with a cartwheel kick attempt as the horn sounds to end round four.
The fifth and final round of the UFC 251 co-main event begins and both men are throwing leather early here. Volkanovski with a low kick. Max lands a beautiful left. Alex charges forward with a flurry that misses. Max partially lands a high kick. Alex shoots in and presses Max against the cage. ‘Blessed’ breaks free but eats a left hand for his troubles. A right hand now from the Aussie. Max with a high kick that is blocked. The same from Alex. Three minutes remain. The fighters are talking to each other now. Max’s nose is busted up now. Alex Volkanovski with a crisp left and then Holloway answers with a combination. Alex lands a right hand and then scores a trip takedown. Max quickly scrambles up to his feet but that takedown could prove huge. Alex with a left hand now. Just over a minute remains. What fight this has been. Alex Volkanovski shoots in but this time Max Holloway denies the shot. Alex with a left hand that lands. He attempts to shoot again but ‘Blessed’ says no. Max leaps in with a flying knee attempt. Alex forces the clinch and lands another late takedown.
Official UFC 251 Result: Alex Volkanovski def. Max Holloway by split decision (48-47, 47-48, 48-47)
Who would you like to see Alex Volkanovski fight next following his split decision victory over Max Holloway at tonight’s UFC 251 event on Fight Island? Share your thoughts in the comments section PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on July 11, 2020