UFC 276: Why Alex Volkanovski will be first to KO Max Holloway

Volkanovski v Holloway III is set to be decided in spectacular fashion if the Aussie featherweight champion’s prediction is anything to go by.

Alexander Volkanovski has already taken the UFC featherweight title from Max Holloway – now he wants the Hawaiian’s famed chin, too.

On the eve of his hyped trilogy bout with Holloway at UFC 276, Volkanovski has vowed to finish the superstar rival who enters their Las Vegas title fight having never been even dropped in 25 Octagon appearances.

The staggering statistic is not only a UFC record, but even more remarkable given Holloway has thrown down against a host of the division’s greatest ever strikers including Conor McGregor, Jose Aldo and Dustin Poirier.

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Australia’s UFC champ Alex Volkanovski. Picture: Sam Ruttyn
Australia’s UFC champ Alex Volkanovski. Picture: Sam Ruttyn

Yet on the eve of what is already shaping as the largest Australian Pay-Per-View event of 2022, Volkanovski has promised to entertain by dropping, and stopping, Holloway to score a fourth title defence.

While the Wollongong native has already beaten the UFC fan favourite twice, the first win was via decision and the second, an even closer split decision victory.

So while Holloway a big Wednesday media event at the UFC Apex Centre to predict his own win via third round finish, Volkanovski responded by stating it would be him finishing things inside a packed T-Mobile Arena.

“I want to end this fight,” the 33-year-old stressed. “And I want to end to end it early.

“I know I’m landing (on Holloway).

“I know I’m landing on him big and many times. So let’s see what happens.

“If it ends inside the three I think that’s me getting the finish.”

Asked his thoughts about finishing Holloway, who has not been dropped since debuting in the UFC a decade ago, Volkanovski continued: “Mate, that would be incredible, right?

“If you could say (you took) the legendary chin that he has … I’ve always said that nobody wants to be known for having an incredible chin but at the same time it is legendary at the moment.

Alex Volkanovski lands heavily on Chan Sung Jung at UFC 273. James Gilbert/Getty Images/AFP
Alex Volkanovski lands heavily on Chan Sung Jung at UFC 273. James Gilbert/Getty Images/AFP

“And I would like to take it because nobody has done that.

“And I have (previously) touched on the fact that it can’t hold on forever. So let’s see if it holds up for this fight.

“Because I’m gunna land. And I’m going to land big.

“I’m going to be coming forward, landing some big shots and see if that legendary chin holds up.”

Volkanovski also stressed he did not fear Holloway’s power, despite his rival’s continual predictions this week of a finish within three rounds.

“He’s more of a volume fighter,” the Aussie stressed. “I don’t think the power is something … it’s not something that I’m worried about.”

Asked if he thought Holloway’s claims were fight week hype, or an insight into how he may approach their third encounter, the UFC champ added: “Man, he probably does believe it.

“But whether it happens? Totally different story.”

Elsewhere, Holloway described Sunday’s bout as a “legacy fight” – but rejected suggestions the winner should be crowned GOAT of the featherweight division.

Alexander Volkanovski.
Alexander Volkanovski.

He insisted that mantle remained with Brazilian great Jose Aldo.

“A lot of fans, a lot of people are saying it,” Holloway replied when quizzed about the topic of GOAT status going on the line in Las Vegas this Sunday (AEST).

“(But) do we forget the man Jose Aldo?

“The man got eight title wins. I have five title wins. Until someone can beat his records as a champion — with the eight title wins — then they can’t consider themselves the GOAT in featherweight.

“I got five to get here and to get Alex (would be) my sixth title win.

“Hopefully, I can catch him, we’ll see what happens … he’s the GOAT, bro.

“You can’t take it away.”

Originally published as UFC 276: Why Alex Volkanovski will be first to KO Max Holloway