Max Holloway went viral this past weekend for his performance against Calvin Kattar.
The former featherweight king outboxed the supposed best boxer in the division, landed a UFC record 445 significant strikes in the process and also managed to clown Kattar on his way to a lopsided unanimous decision victory.
— UFC (@ufc) January 16, 2021
It led some to question how UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski — who defeated Holloway twice — would fare against this version of the Hawaiian in a potential trilogy.
Others, however, believe Holloway always fought like this. He was just simply nullified by Volkanovski.
So how did “The Great” manage to defeat Holloway not once but twice? Volkanovski revealed bits of his game plan in a recent interview with Grange TV.
Main game plan
“To be honest, obviously, looking for a takedown was always going to be there, but it wasn’t something I was going to chase,” Volkanovski explained. “There’s a whole standup game plan that we had to stick to. We knew he’s really good with his distance. And with that, we knew we’re going to pull up short up high.
“When he really pours the pressure on, he’s in your face so it seems like he’s there. But early on, especially when he sees the dangers and he’s really good at distance, touching and getting out of the way, avoiding punches and then giving you some countering.
“So we had ways of getting in. And if that pulled short, it was going to be other options there that we needed to stick to. Obviously, the legs. He might pull his head out of the way so we knew that, so we went to go up high and then we’re pulling up short like we expected.
“When he’s coming forward, he’s heavy on that leg when he wants to pour it on. … The punches come up, we’ll pull them up a bit short. Alright, that’s not there? The legs are. Alright, let’s start smashing the legs. And not only that, that was always going to be the game plan because he likes to come forward and put the pressure on. As he’s trying to jab, I’ll just stick one into his leg, let him realize he’s not going to get his rhythm. So the leg kicks were a big part of that.”
Holloway reading Volkanovski’s game plan and adjusting
“I’ll kick his legs and then he would try and fire right away. So as soon as I would kick, he was trying to stick a jab in my face when he realized he couldn’t get out of the way. Then I would let him run straight into a punch or kick, as he was trying to throw a jab, I’ll come with overhand rights and hooks.
“Then he started reading that after my kicks, I started firing so he started running into punches. So he went there, pretended he’d come in, make me fire and then go. Then I would change it up again because I realized he was baiting me after the kick. These are little things that you wouldn’t see. A lot of people think the game plan is kicking his legs and think that was it. But it goes so much deeper than that.”
You can watch the full interview below:
Combat sports fan who loves a good body shot.