Alexander Volkanovski made sure of that, ending Holloway’s 922-day run as 145-pound monarch.
Volkanovski (21-1) fought brilliantly for five rounds in the UFC 245 co-main event and walked out of the famed Octagon with a rather lopsided unanimous decision.
The Aussie moved beautifully inside the cage and prevented “Blessed” from ever finding his rhythm. Holloway (21-5) has long been a slow starter who pours on the heat down the stretch in his title fights, but a torrid low kick attack and brilliant inside-out movement behind a jab from Volkanovski thwarted nearly everything the Hawaiian tried. In the end, Volkanovski had his hand raised, a surreal feeling for a man who has now won 18 consecutive battles.
“I guess it hasn’t fully set in yet, new featherweight champ!” he exclaimed after his sensational win. “I keep myself so composed so that I can get the job done that sometimes it feels like it’s not even happening.”
Volkanovski never absorbed any real damage from the usually punishing Holloway. “The Great” dug deep and fought off the charging Holloway, but those moments were few and far between thanks to the Freestyle Fighting Gym’s star’s movement and control. Volkanovski neutralized the reigning champ from start to finish and he never deviated from his game plan.
“I thought it was pretty back and forth, but my corner was telling me that we were getting the job done, so I just kept at it,” he said. “As soon as I heard 50-45, I knew that was all me.”
With his title reign just underway, the Aussie already has grandiose plans for how he will rule the 145-pound division.
“Featherweight has always had great, respectful champions who always fight the next contenders in line and I appreciate that,” he said. “There’s a lot of people who have earned their shot and aren’t given it, so I’m going to make sure everyone who earns it, gets it. If the UFC really wants money fights, I’ll do it -- I won’t lie -- but I want to give it to the person who deserves them and then take them out.”
To say that Volkanovski is proud to be another Australian champion on the UFC roster would be an understatement.
“Australia is taking over, we’re doing great things over there,” he stated. “We’ve got two belts now. It wasn’t long ago that people just looked at us as numbers in the UFC. We’re top dogs now and I’m proud that I could help stake that claim. People are going to be partying right now and I’m going to party too.”