UFC 276: Who’s Left To Take On Alexander Volkanovski?

UFC 276 Alexander Volkanovski Max Holloway

Reigning featherweight king Alexander Volkanovski has recorded yet another highlight-reel-worthy unanimous decision victory against Max Holloway at UFC 276 — their third encounter to close out the blockbuster trilogy; Volkanovski’s fourth consecutive title defence since claiming the belt from Holloway back in 2019. And as the fresh blood is mopped from the canvas, there’s only one question left on everybody’s mind: who is there left for Australia’s ever-dominant champ to prove himself against?

Prior to this weekend, the rivalry between Alexander Volkanovski and Max Holloway was rather close, separated by razor-thin margins and a controversial split decision. After UFC 276, it’s clear that the former is currently in an entirely different league. One that counts the rarefied P4P company of Kamaru Usman (Welterweight Champion), Israel Adesanya (Middleweight Champion), and Charles Oliveira (Lightweight Champion). Not bad for a bloke who was a semi-pro rugby player and part-time tradie only a decade ago.

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Holloway’s legendary granite chin was put to the test at Nevada’s T-Mobile Arena throughout five gruelling rounds. Early on, Volkanovski sought to nullify the reach advantage by making it a close-quarter firefight (Slip ‘n’ Rip City | Population: 2).

At no point did it ever feel as though the native of Windang, New South Wales was in any real danger. In defiance of human biology, Volkanovski would only look sharper and sharper as the bout progressed, elevating the accuracy percentage of his significant strikes with each passing round, and forcing Holloway to miss a staggering 60% of his shots. We’re talking Neo in the Matrix type shit. Clinical beyond belief.

By the end of the evening’s co-main event, Alexander Volkanovski had barely broken a sweat, while in a career-first, Max Holloway’s face had been rearranged like it were a goddamn rental apartment. Side note: props to the cutman for plugging up the crimson waterfall gushing from his eyebrow round after round.

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Nobody – nobody – makes Holloway look ordinary. And yet Volkanovski just did with a broken hand sustained in Round 1. He hasn’t just cleaned out the division. He’s completely lapped it three times over. So it’s unsurprising that talks of conquering the UFC lightweights are heating up right about now.

“I want to be in this Octagon as much as possible, I wasn’t to be busy,” Alexander Volkanovski, waist wrapped in a shiny belt, told Joe Rogan during his UFC 276 post-fight interview.

“I don’t think this division itself can keep me busy. I want to move up, go for double champ, and keep two divisions busy.”

“Charles [Oliveira], whoever gets that belt — nothing but respect. I’d love to move up, get that double champ status, and if I get both belts, I’ll keep ’em both busy. Let’s go.”

Soak it in, folks. We’re witnessing a Hall of Famer and GOAT candidate in the making.

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