Max Holloway vs Alexander Volkanovski
Max „Blessed“ Holloway is coming back after a decision win against Frankie Edgar in his 3rd title defense. In that fight Holloway put on a show of great takedown defense and barrage of strikes. Holloway will have his 3rd fight in last 9 months and this could be his most difficult title defense. Alexander Volkanovski is now on a 17 fight win streak and after impressive performances against Chad Mendes and José Aldo, he earned his ticket to the title fight.
Max Holloway is a very complex striker. He is one of the best strikers in the UFC history. He can box, both from outside or in the pocket. His kicks are phenomanel, particularly his spinning back kicks can do a lot of damage. He is a volume striker, averaging over 400 strikes per fight in his last 4 fights. Some fighters don’t even get to 100 strikes in their fights.Holloway takes the initiative and is the pressure fighter most of the time. He often switches stances to make his strikes less predictable for his opponents to counter. Max´s takedown defense is very high. What could be considered as his weakness is his ground game, even though it is a bit of a stretch as we don’t see Holloway too many times on the ground.
Alexander Volkanovski is kickboxer-wrestler type of fighter. When Volkanovski needs the fight to play out on the ground, he takes his opponent to the ground with his great wrestling. While standing up, Alex is a great counter puncher, as his reach is ridiculous for a featherweight (71,5 inches). Just like Holloway, Volkanovski is also a volume striker landing more accurately with fewer strikes on average. As mentioned before, he is a great counter puncher and defensive fighter as there were fights where his opponents didn’t even land 30 strikes. His right overhand is very dangerous as that is his go-to strike. He is more comfortable on the ground than Max Holloway, but doesn’t have many wins by submissions, as he likes to fight on the ground kind of the same way like Khabib, just maul people on the ground, do not give them any chance to get up, and when they get up, Volkanovski take them down immediately. There are no particular weaknesses and are yet to be exploited.
Probably one thing is for sure in this fight. It will not end by submission. Neither of Max Holloway or Alexander Volkanovski have many wins by submission. They don’t even try to submit their opponents. So if someone should guess, who would win by submission, the odds would be 50-50, but odds of this fight of ending by submission are like 1 in 100.
The chances for this fight to end by KO are higher as both of them are volume strikers. Holloway breaks down his opponents with his precise striking and heavy pressure, while Volkanovski can change the course of the fight with his powerful overhand right. Holloway also has a chin of steel and rarely gets knocked down. Although Volkanovski is shorter by significant margin (similar height as Frankie Edgar), he will have slight reach advantage over Holloway.
If this fight will take 5 rounds, then it’s anyone’s guess, who will take the decision win. Holloway is a slight favorite as he has been in championship rounds and is more accustomed to 5 round wars. This fight will be very entertaining for the fans and is a high favorite of earning the fight of the night bonus.