UFC 272: Max Holloway, Alexander Volkanovski to cap trilogy, Aljamain Sterling, Petr Yan to run back DQ fight

·2 min read

A pair of anticipated championship bouts have been scheduled for UFC 272 with rivals Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski slated to cap their trilogy for the featherweight championship.

Aljamain Sterling, meanwhile, will defend his bantamweight belt against interim champion Petr Yan in a rematch of their controversial UFC 259 fight that saw Yan disqualified for an illegal knee. UFC president Dana White announced the fights to network partner ESPN on Wednesday. The March 5 event is likely to take place in Las Vegas, ESPN's Brett Okamoto reports.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JULY 12: (L-R) Alexander Volkanovski of Australia punches Max Holloway in their UFC featherweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
Alexander Volkanovski, left, has twice defeatd Max Holloway. (Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Volkanovski (23-1) has twice defeated Holloway (23-6) in close bouts, with their rematch at UFC 251 in July 2020 a narrow split decision. Volkanovski previously defeated Holloway in a unanimous decision at UFC 245 to secure the belt. He's since defended it against Brian Ortega at UFC 266 in September.

Holloway has consecutive wins over Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez since losing the rematch. He's the division's No. 1 contender and UFC's No. 7 pound-for-pound fighter. Volkanovski is No. 2 in the pound-for-pound rankings. He slyly applauded Holloway's effort against Kattar while teasing the trilogy fight last January.

Almost a year later, the highly anticipated trilogy bout is now set.

Sterling, meanwhile, will mount his first title defense since his controversial victory over Yan (16-2) in March. Sterling (20-3) won the belt from Yan after Yan was disqualified for this illegal knee to Sterling's head in the fourth round:

Yan was up 29-28 on two judges' scorecards while Sterling was up 29-28 on the third at the time of the disqualification. The pair were slated for a rematch in October at UFC 267, but Sterling pulled out of the fight with a neck injury. Yan went on to defeat Cory Sandhagen for the interim title. Yan is the division's No. 1 contender and UFC's 11th-ranked pound-for-pound fighter.