Alexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway 2
Alexander Volkanovski (-245) (21-1-0)
Volkanovski knew he’d have to have to get past Holloway twice and he actually asked Dana for this matchup. Volkanovski has a perfect 8-0 UFC record with his only professional loss all the way back in 2013. He’s an excellent striker and throws with big power. He trains with an excellent camp at City Kickboxing and he’ll be in top shape as always. While he’s newer to the UFC, at age 31 he’s actually 3 years older than Holloway. He’s an extremely confident fighter and Saturday night he’ll have a chance to prove that the first time was no fluke.
Max Holloway (+205) (21-5-0)
In his post-fight interview last December, Max pointed out that he’s only 28 years old and he still has a lot of time to grow in his career. It’s a great point, but it makes his decision to take this fight 6 months later a bit surprising. Not only has he had limited time to recover and regroup, but he has to charter a flight to Abu Dhabi to fight at 6 AM in the middle of a global pandemic; and if we’re to take his word for it, he’s done 0 sparring and only trained with his coaches through Zoom. I’m a bit skeptical, but even if it is just gamesmanship the situation is anything but ideal. With that said, he’s a true champion and one of the greatest to ever do it. Saturday night he’ll have an opportunity to prove that and regain his title.
Prediction: Alexander Volkanovski via 4th Round TKO
Holloway took a lot of damage in 2019, not only to Volkanovski but he also received 96 significant strikes from Frankie Edgar and 178 in a loss to Dustin Poirier. That’s three 5-round fights and 431 significant strikes in the last 15 months! Durability is often a curse and I wish he would have taken at least a year off to recuperate. Nevertheless, he’s back for more and he’ll have to do something to get Volkanovski’s respect. Frankly, I do not think that thing exists and therefore Volkanovski will continue to beat down his lead leg, walk through his volume, and land the harder, more effective strikes. Volkanovski is criminally underrated and he will continue to fight with a chip on his shoulder. He proves a point Saturday night and becomes the first man to knockout Max Holloway.