LAS VEGAS — Max Holloway has lapped the rest of the field at featherweight, but Alexander Volkanovski has lapped Holloway.
Volkanovski showed the giant chasm that exists atop arguably the UFC’s best and deepest division by winning all five rounds against the ex-champion in arguably the best performance of his career Saturday in the co-main event of UFC 276 at T-Mobile Arena.
Volkanovski outboxed Holloway, who has touted himself the best boxer in the UFC. Volkanovski was almost perfect in his boxing and didn’t really have to step on the gas at all in the fight.
He was pretty much in second gear, popping Holloway with jabs and right hands and controlling the fight from start to finish.
He’s now beaten Holloway all three times they’ve met, following wins at UFC 245 in 2019 and UFC 251 in 2020. Those were close, and there’s a legitimate argument to be made that Holloway won the second.
This one, though, was a no-doubter.
“Max Holloway is an absolute beast,” Volkanovski said. “That intensity he brought the last few days brought the best out of me. I needed it.”
Volkanovski is ranked second pound-for-pound in the UFC’s rankings and is the best featherweight by a long margin.
He now has his eye on lightweight. UFC president Dana White said he’d allow Volkanovski to fight for the belt if he moves up and Volkanovski seemed to indicate in the cage that’s what he’d do.
“This division is not enough to keep me busy,” Volkanovski said of the featherweights. “I want to move up because I need two divisions to keep me busy.”
He opened a massive, cavernous gash over Holloway’s left eye early in the fight, which bled profusely. To his credit, it did n’t seem to bother Holloway.
He fought hard, but he was just overwhelmed by a superior fighter.