In the co-main event of UFC 245, Australian challenger Alexander Volkanovski produced a brilliant performance to defeat Max Holloway and capture the UFC featherweight title.
There wasn't much of a feeling-out process between the top featherweights. As per usual, Holloway's world-class volume was being felt by Volkanovski - but he was returning with leg kicks and tight counter punches. With a fighter who fights as fast as "Blessed," it's seemingly a smart approach.
As the time whittled away in round one, Volkanovski started to slow the champion's attack down by getting more aggressive. The two shared verbal jabs before Volkanovski attempted a knee tap takedown that was defended easily by the Hawaiian.Also on rt.com UFC 245: Petr Yan spoils Urijah Faber's title hopes, lands stunning third-round head-kick KO (VIDEO)
A good body punch is landed by Holloway early but the leg kicks keep coming and landing on him. Despite Holloway's absorption of the leg attacks, he was still the one pressuring forward - there just wasn't much being returned. Holloway would end up switching stances and starting landing some punches. Of course, it wasn't long until the Aussie began working that leg as well. Before the round ended, Volkanovski was able to catch Holloway on a chin with a left hand.
In the third round, Holloway continued coming forward and was able to avoid the leg kicks by attacking with some of his own. He would fire with punches when Volkanovski came forward. The leg kick was now being accompanied by hooks up top from Volkanovski. The champion felt them but he didn't look too hurt.
With the round winding down, Volkanovski was really starting to connect with big punches over the top - while still targeting low. Holloway went for a spinning back fist to no avail as the horn sounded.
Round four was more of the same as the third. Holloway was looking for his shots on the former rugby player but big counter shots awaited him essentially every time. When Volkanovski started his combinations, by the time they were over he was nowhere to be found. Holloway was able to land some nice body punches along with a kick before the break between the final two rounds. The champion seemingly needed a finish.
To kick off the final round, Holloway went back to the body shots while Volkanovski stuck to his gameplan. The two started to really engage with a minute and thirty seconds left. Punches and elbows were landed by both. Clinching up late, the fight ends.
Volkanovski gets the "and new." The judges scored it unanimously with 48-47, 48-47, and 50-45.
Australia once again has a champion.Also on rt.com UFC 245: Amanda Nunes outgrapples Germaine de Randamie to retain UFC bantamweight title (VIDEO)