UFC 276: Volkanovski tops Holloway, Cerrone calls it quits

by Christina S. Brown
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Alexander Volkanovski defeated Max Holloway for the third time Saturday night time, defending his featherweight title by unanimous choice with a dominant placing efficiency at UFC 276.

Volkanovski (25-1) prolonged his profitable streak to 22 fights with a commanding show in opposition to Holloway (23-7), the previous champion at 145 kilos. Volkanovski executed a pointy boxing recreation plan in opposition to one of many UFC’s greatest punchers, bloodying Holloway’s face early on and steadily rising the punishment into the ultimate minutes.

Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya confronted Jared Cannonier in the principle occasion from T-Cell Enviornment on the Vegas Strip.

The penultimate bout of UFC 276 concluded a memorable trilogy between Volkanovski and Holloway, possible the 2 biggest featherweights in UFC historical past outdoors of long-reigning champ Jose Aldo. Volkanovski received two extremely aggressive fights by choice over Holloway in 2019 and 2020, however Holloway received his subsequent two fights to reassert his declare to a different shot on the belt he held for 3 years.

“Max Holloway is an absolute beast,” Volkanovski stated. “That depth that we each had, I wanted it. I actually wanted it. I needed to get in my very own head.”

Two proficient strikers understandably stored the combat on the toes, however the smaller Volkanovski capably closed the gap to do harm within the first two rounds, notably in opening a nasty lower above Holloway’s left eye. Holloway’s solutions dwindled as his cuts grew bigger, and Volkanovski patiently racked up scoring photographs to depart little question within the choice.

Holloway’s whole face was crimson on the last bell. Volkanovski received each spherical on all three judges’ scorecards, 50-45.

Earlier than the title fights, Alex Pereira demolished Sean Strickland with strikes halfway by way of the primary spherical of a victory that burnished the Brazilian kickboxing champion’s standing as an instantaneous title contender.

Bryan Barbarena additionally stopped Robbie Lawler on strikes late within the second spherical of a brutal combat wherein each veterans absorbed large punishment. After dropping the primary spherical on two judges’ scorecards, Barbarena ended it with a chronic flurry that started with a sequence of step-in elbows to interrupt down the protection of the 40-year-old Lawler, who had his first UFC bout in 2002.

On the undercard, Jim Miller set a UFC report along with his twenty fourth profession victory, ending Donald Cerrone with a guillotine choke within the second spherical.

The 38-year-old Miller’s landmark victory broke his tie with Cerrone and Andrei Arlovski for the UFC’s profession wins mark.

“You’re by no means going to see the (mixed) numbers that got here into this combat ever once more, however I’m excited to get the W,” Miller stated. “That guillotine, I can do it in my sleep. I knew it was solely a matter of time.”

The 39-year-old Cerrone retired within the cage after the bout. Cerrone beat Miller of their first assembly in 2014, however Cerrone is now 4-10 since 2016 with a seven-fight winless streak.

Veteran flyweight Jessica Eye introduced her retirement after dropping a call to Maycee Barber. Eye, who turns 36 this month, fought for the 125-pound title in 2019, however has now misplaced 5 of six.

Reporting by The Related Press.

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