Alexander Volkanovski
The Great

Australia

Digs deep to retain UFC gold
FeatherweightUFC
July 11, 2020
Volkanovski successfully defended his UFC Featherweight Championship on Saturday, defeating Max Holloway via split decision (49-48, 48-49, 49-48) at UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi.
ANALYSIS
Volkanovski deserves all sorts of credit here. He looked considerably worse than he did in the first fight, and Holloway looked considerably better, but the Aussie still managed to walk out with the belt. Alex could have packed this one in early on. Max dropped him in the final seconds of each of the first two rounds. Volkanovski had nothing going as the fight headed to Round 3, but he dug deep and outworked Holloway over the majority of the final 15 minutes. Volkanovski struggled to land consistent offense compared to the first fight between the two, but he picked up three key takedowns over the course of the final two frames. Alex made some minor adjustments as the fight progressed and it resulted in the slightest of victories. Volkanovski and Holloway will almost certainly meet again at some point down the road but for now, Alex's next title defense will almost certainly be against someone else. Other top contenders in the UFC's loaded 145-pound division include Brian Ortega, Zabit Magomedsharipov, and The Korean Zombie.
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Title defense set for Fight Island
FeatherweightUFC
June 9, 2020
Volkanovski will rematch Max Holloway for the UFC Featherweight Championship at UFC 251 on July 11 at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, Ariel Helwani of ESPN
ANALYSIS
This will be a much-anticipated rematch between the two featherweights after Volkanovski came through as a betting underdog to take the belt from Holloway in December. That bout was contested primarily on the feet, with Volkanovski winning the battle of significant strikes 157 to 134. While he gives up five inches in height to Holloway, Volkanovski was still able to use a slight reach edge to his advantage. His primary technique to slow the movement of Holloway was the leg kick, as Volkanovski was credited with 75 significant leg strikes in the contest, compared to 17 for Holloway. Oddsmakers are predicting a repeat of this effort by Volkanovski, as he's currently listed as a betting favorite of roughly (-220) shortly after the fight's announcement.
Title defense vs. Holloway coming
FeatherweightUFC
May 11, 2020
Volkanovski is targeted to defend his featherweight title against Max Holloway, Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Volkanovski emerged victorious over Holloway via unanimous decision in December, gaining the featherweight title at the cost of a broken hand. Now fully recovered from the injury, his first title defense is set to be a rematch against Holloway. However, the UFC has yet to confirm a date for the featherweight bout.
Recovered from broken hand
FeatherweightUFC
March 23, 2020
Volkanovski (hand) said Sunday in an interview with UFC reporter Megan Olivi that he's received clearance to resume training.
ANALYSIS
Volkanovski had been sidelined since requiring right hand surgery in December to address an injury he suffered in his win over Max Holloway at UFC 245 in Las Vegas. Now that he's healthy again, Vokanovski will turn his focus to preparing for his next fight, which will likely come in June at UFC 250 in Perth. The 31-year-old is expected to match up with Holloway again in his first title defense.
Opting for surgery
FeatherweightUFC
December 19, 2019
Volkanovski will undergo surgery to repair a broken left hand, Guilherme Cruz of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Word of a potentially serious hand injury surfaced Tuesday when medical suspensions were announced, and Volkanovski confirmed the news early Thursday morning via Instagram. The new champion's exact recovery time will presumably remain unclear until the surgery is complete, though it's entirely possible he won't make his first title defense until the summer of 2020.
Potential hand injury
FeatherweightUFC
December 18, 2019
Volkanovski has been suspended 180 days pending medical clearance of a right hand injury, Nolan King of MMAJunkie.com reports.
ANALYSIS
While Volkanovski's title-winning performance might be most remembered byt he damage he did to former champion Max Holloway's legs, he'll come away with a possible hand injury that could require the maximum medical suspension. He's already set to be sidelined a mandatory 45 days (30 days no contact), but his title defense might have to wait until next June unless an orthopedic physician grants him earlier clearance.