“Blessed” entered the Octagon on Saturday night and he squared off against the reigning featherweight champion. The UFC 276 co-main event was one of the most anticipated fights of the year considering how competitive their first two meetings were and how highly skilled Volkanovski and Holloway are.
Although “The Great” had earned two wins over Holloway up to that point, both decisions were controversial, especially their second meeting. Well, Volkanovski left no doubt on July 2.
He was one step ahead of Holloway during their trilogy bout and after five rounds, it was clear that Volkanovski was operating on a higher level. He swept the judges’ scorecards (50-45, 50-45, 50-45), solidifying himself as the undisputed king of the 145 pounders.
Battered and bruised, Holloway didn’t speak at the post-fight press conference as he was sent to the hospital for a check-up. However, the fan-favorite combatant took to Twitter the next day to praise Volkanovski, calling him the No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the sport.
He also shared his support for Volkanovski’s quest to become the UFC lightweight champion.
“I’m still up 2-0 on knockdowns for trilogy,” Blessed wrote. “Prob gonna need a 4th to settle this. 😂 Just playing. Congrats to my brother @alexvolkanovski. Go get that 55 strap. You earned the shot. You’re #1 P4P right now.”
“To all the fans do not cry for me Argentina,” he continued. “This is part of life. We need to rebuild and we will. I love you!”
Volkanovski responded to Holloway’s tweet a little later, writing: “Absolute legend brother 🙏.”
Volkanovski Wants to Earn ‘Double Champ Status’ By Winning 155-Pound Belt
Only four fighters in the promotion’s history have become simultaneous two-division champions: Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, Daniel Cormier and Henry Cejudo. And The Great wants to be the fifth.
After he got his hand raised over Holloway, Volkanovski spoke with UFC color commentator Joe Rogan. And he made his agenda clear.
“Max Holloway is an absolute beast,” Volkanovski said via MMA Fighting. “I just proved to you that I want to be in this Octagon as much as possible. I want to be busy. I want to move up and go for double champ and I’ll keep two divisions busy.
“Charles [Oliveira], whoever gets that belt, no disrespect, I’d love to move up, get that double champ status.”
The lightweight title is currently vacant as the former king, Charles Oliveira, had to vacate the belt in May after he missed the 155-pound limit by a half-pound. During the post-fight press conference, Volkanovski revealed that he sustained an injury to his right hand during the second round.
“It’s not good,” Volkanovski said. “I’m pretty sure it’s broken. I know when I break stuff, It was broken in round two.”
It’s Unclear Where Holloway Goes From Here
Holloway has firmly cemented himself as the second-best featherweight in the game, but after losing three times to Volkanovski, he likely won’t receive another title shot another The Great drops the crown.
Blessed could try his hand at lightweight. Holloway fought for the interim lightweight strap in April 2019, but he was defeated by Dustin Poirier via unanimous decision. If Holloway moved up, he’d likely draw a big fight right away.
He may also elect to stay at featherweight in hopes of one day clawing his way back to another 145-pound title fight.