UFC 245: Alexander Volkanovski upsets Max Holloway for featherweight title

·Combat columnist
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 14:  Alexander Volkanovski of Australia celebrates in the octagon at the end of the match during the UFC 245 event at T-Mobile Arena on December 14, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Alexander Volkanovski of Australia celebrates in the Octagon during UFC 245 at T-Mobile Arena on Saturday in Las Vegas. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

LAS VEGAS — A former rugby player who once wrestled at 214 pounds kept up a steady attack throughout the fight on one of the UFC’s elite champions to score a unanimous decision victory Saturday at UFC 245.

Alexander Volkanovski became the new featherweight champion by upsetting Max Holloway in a close and tactical fight. Volkanovski attacked Holloway’s legs with kicks and forced Holloway to switch into a southpaw stance. But Volkanovski never stopped his attack and worked over Holloway’s right leg, as well.

Holloway showed plenty of guts but he never backed away. He was landing combinations of his own and put lumps on the left side of the new champion’s face with a series of 1-2 combinations.

The fifth round had the most action of the fight as the men fought as if they knew the title was up for grabs. Holloway closed the distance and was landing better to the head, but Volkanovski landed a vicious elbow to the face from that position. Volkanovski kept a hard pace throughout the round and they had a furious exchange at the end.

Judges had it 48-47 twice and 50-45 for Volkanovski, ending Holloway’s reign. Yahoo Sports had it 48-47 for Volkanovski.

Each round was close and was up for grabs down the stretch, but Volkanovski seemed to do a bit more damage and was landing the more significant shots. It seemed to be what got him the victory.

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