Alexander Volkvanoski and Max Holloway will meet in a rematch at UFC 251. Volkanovski defeated Holloway in December to earn the UFC Featherweight Championship. Watch the UFC 251 PPV live stream on ESPN+.
Odds: Volkanovski (-190) vs. Holloway (+175)
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Volkanovski is undefeated in the UFC since joining the promotion in November 2016. He’s now 21-1 as a mixed martial artist and has looked impressive in all of his UFC outings to date.
Holloway is regarded as one of the best featherweight fighters in UFC history. After title defenses against Jose Aldo, Brian Ortega, and Frankie Edgar, Holloway lost a unanimous decision to Volkanovski. He now gets a chance to immediately reclaim the featherweight title.
Volkanovski vs. Holloway play-by-play
Live play-by-play updates and highlights from Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway as it happens at UFC 251.
They touch gloves and they’re underway. Holloway patient start controlling the center. Moves forward and into a right hand from Volkanovski. Inactive first 90 seconds from both fighters. Volkanovski now storms forward and takes the center but Holloway earns it back. Body kick from Holloway, he’s using his range much better in this fight. Volkanovski comes forward and Holloway’s uppercut his the forearms of the champion. Leg kicks are now landing from Volkanovski. They trade leg kicks now. Volkanovski slides into range but doesn’t punish the challenger. Holloway stalking Volkanovski and lands a 1-2. As Volkanovski comes in, Holloway attempts a flying knee but misses. Volkanovski with a right hook. Another leg kick from Volkanovski. Spinning body kick lands and then Holloway connects with a high kick. Volkanovski falls. A very close round until the final moments.
The Body Lock scores round one for Max Holloway (10-9)
Holloway forcing Volkanovski to circle around the cage again to start this round. He’s standing his ground and controlling the center. Another heavy leg kick from Volkanovski. Holloway lands some clean punches. Volkanovski not having the same success as he did in the first fight and he’s struggling to enter punching range.
Another leg kick from the champion and Holloway comes back with some of his own. Volkanovski’s having no success at boxing range this fight. They’re still trading leg kicks but Volkanovski is landing more of them. Another flying knee attempt from Holloway as Volkanovski attempted to move forward. A left hook lands for Volkanovski. Holloway is using his height well in this fight and forcing Volkanovski to fight from the outside. Another spinning kick for Holloway almost lands. Holloway drops Volkanovski again with a left hook this time to end the round.
The Body Lock scores round two for Max Holloway (10-9) and the fight 20-18 for Holloway after two rounds
Volkanovski starts the round with another heavy leg kick. Holloway looks extremely confident so far and Volkanovski hasn’t made the required adjustments to bring himself into this fight. Another flying knee attempt from Holloway. Volkanovski now coming forward and making Holloway fight on the back foot. Left hook lands for Volkanovski. He’s lifting the output now and having more of an impact this round but he doesn’t seem to have settled into the fight at this stage. Leg kicks are having a big impact on Holloway’s lead leg. Volkanovski comes forward and shoots for a takedown but they end up clinching against the cage. Holloway has his back to the cage and Volkanovski has double underhooks. Holloway brings his arm through and separates after a knee to the body. Strong left hook lands for Volkanovski. The champion is now fighting from the center of the cage. But Holloway quickly fights for the position and now has Volkanovski circling again. Strong jab for Volkanovski and then another leg kick.
A better round for the champion and he seems to have edged the closest round of the fight so far.
The Body Lock scores round three for Alexander Volkanovski (10-9) and the fight 29-28 for Holloway after three rounds
Volkanovski taps the lead leg of Holloway to start the round. He comes in with a jab and then a left hook to the body. Holloway answers with a punch of his own. It’s really been a battle for the center of the cage. Holloway’s held the position and controlled the majority of the fight. Two more inside leg kicks for the champion. They’re adding up and Holloway’s lead leg is mostly red. Two more lead leg kicks for the champion. Holloway lands a right hand after a flying knee attempt. And then follows up with a straight right hand. Volkanovski jabs to the body and Holloway answers with two punches of his own. Trading jabs now as both fighters attempt to hold their ground. Double underhooks for Volkanovski and a big takedown. He wraps up the legs of Holloway but the challenger uses the fence to stand. Holloway has handled Volkanovski’s strength well so far. Lead inside leg kick for Volkanovski and then a single-leg takedown attempt but Holloway stays balanced. Now trading shots. A strong right hand for Volkanovski and he looks to be finding his place in this fight. They trade punches to end the round.
The Body Lock scores round four for Alexander Volkanovski (10-9) and the fight a 38-38 draw after four rounds.
Commentators and most fans/media on social seem to believe Holloway is up 3-1. Volkanovski seemingly needs to lift his intensity this round. We have it 2-2 after four rounds, though, considering Volkanovski’s efforts in rounds three and four to make his way back into this fight.
Holloway attempts an inside leg kick and Volkanovski comes back with punches. He marches forward and secures the clinch position against the cage but Holloway quickly evades. A strong left hook for Volkanovski as Holloway comes forward. Holloway not having the same impact in these later rounds as he did before and Volkanovski has lifted his output. Still a very close fight and no fighter is running away with it at this stage.
Volkanovski misses and Holloway responds with two punches and a body kick. Leg kicks are still having a big impact for the champion. A clean 1-2 for Holloway. Another takedown attempt from Volkanovski and he trips Holloway. He’s on top but Holloway is climbing back to his feet. Volkanovski lands a left hook as Holloway separates. Jab for Volkanovski and another takedown attempt. Holloway defending well and stays standing. Volkanovski swinging now. Holloway evades and defends another takedown attempt. Great fight. Thirty seconds to go and this is up in the air. Holloway misses a flying knee and Volkanovski goes for another takedown attempt. He lands on top and lands an elbow.
The Body Lock scores round five for Alexander Volkanovski (10-9) and the fight 48-47 for Volkanovski.
Official Result: Alexander Volkanovski def. Max Holloway via split decision (48-47, 48-47, 47-48)
Brilliant fight from Max. The uppercut punished Volkanovski's dipping entries, and he used his kicking game very well to hit Alex's body and occupy his guard. Alex pulled it back with his transitional work late, mostly. Thought Max won, but definitely not a robbery. #UFC251
— Sriram Muralidaran (@SriramMSays) July 12, 2020
— Drake Riggs (@DrakeRiggs_) July 12, 2020
Volk and Holloway are destined to fight until the end of time, and I’m totally okay with that #UFC251
— Shane Connelly (@ShaneTConnelly) July 12, 2020
Super close fight. Volkanovski made great adjustments later on after the slow start. Want to watch that again. Definitely not a robbery.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) July 12, 2020
UFC 251 Results
Saturday, July 11 – UFC Fight Island, Yas Island, Abu Dhabi
- Kamaru Usman def. Jorge Masvidal via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46) 🏆 (play-by-play)
- Alexander Volkanovski def. Max Holloway via split decision (48-47, 48-47, 47-48) 🏆 (play-by-play)
- Petr Yan def. Jose Aldo via TKO (ground and pound) – R5, 3:24 🏆 (play-by-play)
- Rose Namajunas def. Jessica Andrade via split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) (play-by-play)
- Amanda Ribas def. Paige VanZant via submission (armbar) – R1, 2:21 (play-by-play)
- Jiri Prochazka def. Volkan Oezdemir via KO (punches) – R2, 0:49
- Muslim Salikhov def. Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos via split decision
- Makwan Amirkhani def. Danny Henry via submission (anaconda choke) – R1, 3:15
- Leonardo Santos def. Roman Bogatov via unanimous decision
- Marcin Tybura def. Maxim Grishin via unanimous decision
- Raulian Paiva def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov via unanimous decision
- Karol Rosa def. Vanessa Melo via unanimous decision
- Davey Grant def. Martin Day via KO/TKO (left hook) – R3, 2:38
Jake Nichols is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief. Previously, he was the MMA Editor at RealSport.