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UFC 276: Adesanya vs Cannonier - Jul 2 🇺🇸


Who wins and how?  

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OK the kids are in bed, the Mrs is catching up on the soaps. I’m gonna go balls deep into this Volkanovski vs Holloway series rewatch in anticipation for the third instalment tomorrow night. I don’t recall watching either fight back since they happened but my memory is that the first fight was clear cut for Volko and the rematch was very close. So I’ll see if my opinion is altered at all here.


The first fight between these two went down back in December 2019 at UFC 245. It played second fiddle to the first Usman vs Covington fight that night so understandably, this went a bit under the radar in the buildup. And also, I don’t think many fancied Volk’s chances much going in either. Most saw it as just another title defence for Max. He’d rattled off wins over Jose Aldo x2, Frankie Edgar, put a brutal beating on Brian Ortega etc. His only recent loss was against Dustin Poirier up at 155 but at 145 he was thought to be almost untouchable going into this one. His two wins over Aldo had really signified a clear changing of the guard in the Featherweight division and I think most expected Holloway to stay on the throne for a while. Volkanovski was on an impressive run himself though. He was 20-1 coming in, on a 17 fight winning streak, undefeated in the UFC, undefeated at 145lbs and had just beat Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes himself. But as has always been the case with Volk, he’d gone a bit under-appreciated.


Max Holloway© vs Alexander Volkanovski - UFC Featherweight Title

UFC 245: Usman vs Covington

December 14th 2019

Las Vegas, Nevada

Commentary brought to you by the usual PPV squad of Jon Anik, Joe Rogan and Daniel Cormier. Referee for this one is Jason Herzog. Amazingly, and this is something that never gets brought up when talking about these two, Holloway is 5 inches taller but Volkanovski actually has the longer reach by a couple of inches!


Round 1: And we’re off. We’re seconds in, barely a strike landed yet and Rogan’s already rubbing one out over Volkanovski’s “tree trunk legs” and talking about his days as a 240lb Rugby player. Max popping off the jab and Volk answering with leg kicks. Frequently. They’re both kind of just feeling it out and testing each other’s reactions early but Volk is quickly finding a home for those leg kicks.


He’s not one-note with them either. He’s mixing them in nicely with his boxing and throwing in the odd inside low kick as well. Just to fuck Max’s leg up on the inside and outside equally, I suppose. He doesn’t discriminate. Volk briefly clinches up and goes for a half hearted trip but didn’t fully commit and I think it was done purely just to keep Max guessing. Both throwing at the end but Max isn’t having his usual success and looks slightly flummoxed going back to the corner as the round ends. Definite 10-9 for Volkanovski there.

Round 2: Volk continuing where he left off, tenderising that lead left leg of Holloway. He’s throwing them to the calf as well now. And hard! Max is still bouncing around. He’s got a good poker face and he’s granite tough but that leg must be on fire now. Almost every time he tries to move forward, Volk’s there to meet him with another shin across the thigh or calf. And now Max is starting to switch back and forth to southpaw. He’s landing some shots from both stances but he’s not as effective as a lefty. And now when he switches stance, Volk’s kicking his other leg as well!


Holloway’s having no fun here. You can even see by the expression on his face. He was smiling and stuff early in the first round, that’s gone now. Like Shawn Michaels in 97, his leg’s knackered and he’s lost his smile. Least he still showed up for work though. Another round in the books for Volkanovski.

Round 3: Max still trying to fight southpaw early here. They were icing the fuck out of his leg between rounds and you can see now that, as brave a face as he’s putting on, those leg kicks have definitely hindered his movement. Those kicks were a stroke of genius from Team Volk really. So much of Holloway’s game is his constant pressure, movement, volume striking etc. But Volkanovski’s pretty much taken all that away, or at least minimised it, by cabbaging the legs and messing with his mobility. It’s also allowed Volk to open up with his hands more because Max isn’t getting out of the way like he usually would because his wheels are damaged.


Nice knee up the middle from Holloway there. He is landing some good stuff in the exchanges here. It’s just that, so far, Volkanovski seems to have answers for everything. Volk’s feeling it now as well. He’s talking a bit of shit in there back and forth with Max. Pace picks up in the dying seconds but the buzzer goes and that’s another Volkanovski round for me. So 3-0 up. By my scoring, Max needs either a finish or a couple of 10-8 rounds to retain the title now.

Round 4: Holloway still mostly fighting lefty and Volk appears to be in the zone and is throwing some heat here. Not really connecting clean but he’s got bad intentions.


Max with some nice jabs while eating another sodding leg kick and immediately switches back southpaw. That left leg must be trashed by now. Holloway is doing a bit better this round so far though. He’s trying to put his combinations together, going to the body and stuff. Volk’s always there though, constantly chipping away at him.


Good stuff from Max now. Volk returns fire as the round comes to an end. Much better round for Holloway there. Close one but I think Max just shaded it. Even this though, I could see scoring it for Volkanovski.

Round 5: Holloway putting the pressure on now. He must know he needs at least a big round at this point, if not a finish. He’s throwing some nice body shots but I think he left it too late for them to pay off. And Volko’s still whacking in those leg kicks at every opportunity. Max is going for it now though.


Both are connecting. Volk still looks fresh, which nobody was sure about going in. He’d never gone a full 5 rounds before this and having his first 5 rounder be against a non-stop, frantic paced freak like Holloway was a big question mark. But he looks great deep into the 5th round here.


Big elbow from Volk and he’s going for a late takedown but Max stuffs it. Final minute and they’re both understandably feeling the pace a bit now. Holloway goes for broke in the last few seconds, missing a spinning kick and it’s over. Another close round but I think Volkanovski might’ve edged it. So I’ve got him up 4-1, 49-46.


Winner - Alexander Volkanovski by unanimous decision.


No controversy whatsoever there. Volk definitely won the first 3 rounds for me. I could see scoring 4 and 5 for Holloway but both were close, neither were anywhere near the 10-8s that Max needed by that point and it wasn’t enough to outdo that early lead Volkanovski had built up.


An incredible performance from Volkanovski there. And it was pretty much how I remembered it. Holloway didn’t even look bad, Volkanovski just looked a step ahead throughout. I really rated Volk but I remember going into this fight, I was as guilty as anyone of thinking this would basically be just another run of the mill title defence for Holloway. Another notch on his belt. I knew Volk was a fantastic fighter but he really stepped it up a level in this fight. I think everyone thought if he had any chance to win this, he’d probably have to make it more of a clinch and takedown battle. Nobody expected him to stand with Holloway for 25 minutes and mostly shut him down. Nobody knew he had this extra gear to go to and this kind of Fight IQ until he had to unveil it here. He raised his game when he needed to and surpassed even my already high opinion of him. Seriously I remember I was amazed to see how clear cut he made it look.

This win, like Volk in general, has been really underrated. I’ve said it a few times on here but when you watch Holloway absolutely blister the likes of Ortega, Kattar and Yair with about a zillion strikes yet he could never really get going against Volkanovski, it says a lot about the level of skill and intelligence we’re dealing with when it comes to Volkanovski. He’s not flashy but he’s really, really, really fucking good. He does pretty much everything right, is usually always in the right place, doesn’t really waste energy etc. He doesn’t have many weaknesses at all. This fight was an eye opener to me and think it was to Holloway as well. I think he, like most, didn’t realise quite what he was up against here until deep into the fight. You could see in the later rounds he was starting to get more of a read on Volk but by then he was already behind on the scorecards and his leg was badly chewed up. It was too late.

Anyway yeah, I’m wide awake so I’ll probably have the rematch review up here in a bit as well. 

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Yeah the first fight really caught me on the hop. Like you mention Wand, we knew Volk was good, but I thought he would have to step it up a level to just be competitive with Max, but he absolutely took Holloway's lunch money in the first encounter. 4-1 I had it as well, though I can't remember now if it was the 4th or 5th round that I gave Max. 

My issue with the second fight was different. If you score it round by round under the poor criteria that is used (even then, the better, improved rules that aren't great themselves, still get ignored a lot), then I'm fine with the decision going to Volk. Ask me who won the fight though as a whole and I know that all day everyday, I'll be saying Max Holloway won that second fight. He won the first and second rounds by a much clearer margin than Volkanovski won any of his rounds. How all are considered 10-9's is quite ridiculous. Even then, Volkanovski's rounds in the second fight, I remember thinking at least one of them could have easily gone to Max because they were too close. I remember thinking that some of Volkanovski's rounds ended up being because Max did less in 3/4/5 than he did in round 1 & 2 rather than Volk doing more than he had been in rounds one and two himself. Again, who knows how that holds up, as it'll have been tiny little adjustments that I'm not good enough to see that will have really made the difference I guess. 

I won't get re-watching it. It actually completely flew over my head that the PPV was this weekend. I still have only seen a few of the fights from last week's show, none of which happened to be the main event. So it'll be interesting to see how you see it on a re-watch with 2022 eyes Wand. Should Holloway win, they have to do a 4th fight, probably automatically unless someone is injured. Should Volkanovski win again? That's it. Bring back Lego head, and get Holloway on the Pudziownowski regimen for the jump to Lightweight. 

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Onto the rematch then. My memory of this one is hazier than the first fight. I just know I had it much closer. It’s the one a load of people called, and still call, a robbery. I remember disagreeing with that but it was definitely closer.


July 2020, Fight Island. As mentioned elsewhere in the thread, the UFC decided to run it back straight away for some reason. I never got it at the time. Like I said, the decision in first fight wasn’t in any way controversial. I can’t remember what the lay of the land was in the Featherweight division back then in terms of who else was in line or who was out injured or what. Maybe that played a part as well. I do remember thinking doing an immediate rematch really wasn’t necessary though. It wasn’t some fluke or dodgy call from the judges the first time. Volkanovski fought pretty much the perfect fight.

This rematch came right in the thick of that initial ‘Lockdown Summer’ of 2020. There was little to be happy about back then but the UFC loaded up this card and packed up the Octagon to head over to this mysterious ‘Fight Island’ in Abu Dhabi they’d been talking about. Of course, we all got carried away talking about outdoor venues and the ‘Enter The Dragon’ style Han’s Island comparisons were flying. It was fun but it was never gonna happen and on the night it was the standard setup. A quiet, dark, empty location with no fans in attendance. Might as well have been the Apex.


Alexander Volkanovski© vs Max Holloway 2 - UFC Featherweight Title

UFC 251: Usman vs Masvidal

July 11th 2020

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Switching up the PPV commentary team here with a Jon Anik and Michael Bisping combo, which I didn’t remember. A welcome break from Rogan. Referee is Herb Dean. Looking forward to seeing how this looks with fresh eyes. When it comes to the Volkanovski vs Holloway rivalry, this is where all the debate comes in. I had Volk winning narrowly at the time so let’s see.


Holloway with the old lockdown hair 😂 must’ve been the same issue with all the barbers being shut in Hawaii that summer like it was here.

Round 1: Volko connects first but it’s a cautious start from both early on. Volkanovski’s already throwing a few leg kicks out there but nothing too significant yet. About halfway through the round and Max seems to be getting into his rhythm now. He’s throwing a nice uppercut as Volk comes in and he just looks mega loose, relaxed and confident in there. Volk with some more leg kicks and some punches. Volk throws another leg kick and Max counters with a stinging right hand that stumbles the champ for a second…


Up until that point in the round, I was struggling to separate the two but that was the most eye catching shot so far and seems to have given Holloway even more confidence. Volk is still landing but Holloway is flowing nicely here and right as the round is ending…


Literally in the final 10 seconds, he knocks Volkanovski down! It was only a flash knockdown and Volk was straight back up but it was a knockdown nonetheless. He was already gonna win that round but that really sealed it for him. Holloway 10-9.

Round 2: Volkanovski comes out kicking a lot right away. It’s still early in the fight but you get the little sense of urgency from him. He doesn’t want Holloway building momentum.


Beautiful combination from Max. He’s clearly off to a much better start this time than the first fight. His striking looks sharp and on point and Volk’s not having as much success with the kicks, which in turn is giving him less openings to land as many punches. Volk tries to close the distance but Max returns fire with a hard knee to the body. Volko beginning to connect a little bit more towards the end of the round now. And once again, in the dying seconds of the round…


Uppercut and Volk touches the canvas again. Like the first time, it was brief. He bounced back up but it’s still not a good look and even worse that it’s happened twice now right at the end of the round when it’ll be the last thing the judges see before giving their scores. Another round down and it’s Max 2-0.

Round 3: Holloway still looking good but Volk is upping the pressure now. He’s throwing more and stopping Max getting off first and he also mixes in a takedown attempt and a bit of clinch work which is all good stuff and will only make him more unpredictable. And right away Holloway’s volume doesn’t seem quite as high as it was the first two rounds. Volk’s back in the game.


The only way to have any kind of real success against Holloway seems to be to just keep throwing shit. Even if it doesn’t always land it keeps him from doing his thing as much. If you give him any time or space at all, he’s peppering you and moving around all the time. A close one but I’ve Volkanovski 10-9. So I’ve got Max up 2-1 going into the championship rounds.

Round 4: Volkanovski doing well early here but he’s still getting tagged by some of Holloway’s flashy shit. That third round definitely seems to have given Volkanovski the boost he needed though.


Sweet trip takedown but Max is up quick before Volk can really do anything with it. It’s more success than Volkanovski was able to have with the takedowns in the first fight but Holloway’s defensive wrestling is an underrated part of his game.


Into the final minute and both are connecting with some good shots. Volk briefly goes lefty and lands with a lovely straight left. Max with a bit of a jumping knee and a right hand and that’s another round done. Again, a close one but I thought Volko did the better work. Just. So I’ve got them even as we approach the last round.

Round 5: Mega close fight this. Max certainly looks a lot fresher here than he did in the 5th round of the first fight. He’s throwing and landing, Volk’s answering. It’s tit for tat, neither were able to really put a stamp on the last couple of rounds and this one is going the same way so far. Volk clinches up, it goes nowhere but he lands a solid left on the break that snaps Max‘s head back.


Volk is having a strong middle part of the round and he’s landing the meatier punches. Hasn’t kicked the legs nearly as much as the first fight and that’s probably why it’s been closer. Bisping’s talking like Volkanovski needs a finish now to win, which I don’t agree with. But he had Max 3-1 up going into this round so by his card, Volk does need a finish. I don’t know. Rounds 3 and 4 were close. Max getting back in it as we enter the second half of the round. Volk with another trip takedown but Max pops back up again. Last minute and Volk is staying busy and just kind of outworking him down the stretch. They clinch and Volkanovski winds up on top.


And that’s it. Yet another close round but not as close as 3 and 4 for me. I had Volk taking this one. So I’ve got him winning 48-47.


Winner - Alexander Volkanovski by split decision.


Yep. Christ it was close though. Like I said, rounds 3 and 4 are the ones that make it difficult to score. 1 and 2 are definitely Max’s and 5 was Volk’s for me. Those middle rounds were tough but I felt Volk just about nicked them by the narrowest of margins. I could definitely see where you might score one of them to Holloway. So I guess that’s where the silly robbery talk came in. But that’s not a robbery. When rounds are that close and they could easily be scored either way, you can see why it could go either way. The weird thing looking at the official scorecards though, is the judge who scored the fight for Holloway didn’t give him the 3rd or 4th round, which I would’ve understood. They gave him the 5th, which I thought was probably Volk’s best round of the fight. It was another close round but not as close as 3 and 4 for me. Definitely agree with @WeeAl that if you look at the fight as a whole, Max won his rounds clearer and it felt like he slightly got the better of the fight overall. But obviously fights are scored round by round and, despite the couple of early knockdowns, those rounds didn’t feel like 10-8s either. Maybe they should’ve been but they weren’t heavy knockdowns and it’s not like Boxing where any knockdown equals an automatic 10-8. I don’t know. Regardless, a razor close fight that could’ve went either way. But not anything like a robbery.

Watching this back just further cements my stance that a third fight between these two is warranted as well. I still stand by my opinion that there was no need for the immediate rematch here. But it happened. If this fight played out like the first one and Volkanovski basically bossed it again, sure, I’d get people thinking there was no call for a third fight. But Max made the adjustments and fought a hell of a fight here, and there’s a completely reasonable argument to claim he won this fight. He’s probably the only man currently in the Featherweight division who has the skills to threaten Volkanovski’s title reign. To not give him another crack at it, after the way he fought in this fight plus his performances against Kattar and Yair in the 2 years since, would be way harsh, I reckon. And again, it’s not as if he’s cockblocking a more deserving challenger.


Chapter 3.

How do you see it going? I can’t lie, after all my talk above, I can’t pick against Volkanovski going 3-0 tonight. But that doesn’t mean Holloway shouldn’t get the opportunity. I’m a huge fan of both so I don’t have a dog in the race. I won’t be sad at either winning. I’m torn on it because on the one hand, I’d love to see Volkanovski keep building on his legacy and going on to break records and all sorts. But I must admit, I’d kind of prefer to see Holloway win this one. He’s way too good a fighter to be going 0-3 to anyone, that would just seem wrong. Plus, fuck the complaining, I’d be happy to see this rivalry kept alive and go into a 4th or even 5th fight! Sod it. Let this be MMA’s version of Pacquiao vs Marquez. There’s actually been a bit more needle between them this time, which I didn’t really expect. They were going back and forth a bit and having digs at the press conference. Nothing major and I don’t think there’s any real beef there, it’s just a competitive rivalry between two guys who are not only the best in the world at 145lbs, they’re two of the best of all time.

Heart slightly with Max, head is saying Volk. I might be completely clutching at straws and reading too much into nothing but looking at both of their most recent fights, Volko looked absolutely sensational against Zombie last time and, aside from the guillotine from hell, looked like a beast against Ortega before that. But as much as I loved the fight, I’m not sure what to take from Max being taken to the brink by a Yair Rodriguez who’d been out 2 years previously. Holloway clearly won that fight but it was way more of a battle than anyone expected. Maybe it was just the element of surprise and Yair’s obviously a totally different style to Volkanovski. But I don’t know. Holloway’s only just turned 30 but he’s already had a bunch of rough fights. And Volk seems to be going from strength to strength. I already kind of feel like Volk just has Holloway’s number as well.


We’ll see in a matter of hours. It’s a shame really that two fighters this great, in maybe the highest level title fight in UFC history, are meeting for a third time and they’ve played second fiddle in the co-main spot all 3 times. This should’ve headlined at least once. 

Edited by wandshogun09
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Excellent write ups! Has to be Volk for me. Volk is a 1/2 favourate for good reason I think, the man is an absolute beast. You get the feeling that hes still actually improving fight on fight, whereas with Max, I'm getting the Tony Ferguson vibes where he's already peaked and is on his way back down the mountain. Hes still one of the best, but won't have anything for Volk I don't think

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here's my top 3 fight picks locked in, i've swayed abit during fight week but i'll take:

Adesanya via TKO Usually i get a bit of a initial idea in my head about how a fight will play out, but for whatever reason i'm finding this fight really hard to call. I'm swaying Adesanya by TKO anytime after round 3 but that really is a stab in the dark. Felt a bit sorry for Cannonier at the press conference in the week, he tried but you could tell he was really out of his comfort zone, not sure if the limelight will have any effect on him in the fight?

Volanovski via TKO feel strongly about this pick. I just feel Volkanovski is constantly levelling up and as @Daisaid, Holloway is likely on the decline. Not declining to the point where he's not one of the best in the world any longer, but enough where Volkanovski is going to show there's a significant gap between them now. Holloway's talk in the week makes it sound like he knows he has to be aggressive to avoid a point game with Volkanovski, should make for an exciting fight.

Strickland via Sub When the fight was announced I was all about Pereira, mainly because I bought into the whole Adesanya/Pereira storyline. When I think about it though, this is still an MMA novice against a vet. at the peak of his game. Strickland apologised for fighting like a pussy last time out, but I don't think he stupid enough to not to do it again if he twigs that he can't hang on the feet. I think Strickland takes this to the ground and wins comfortably. After fight week though the UFC can't go no wrong against Adesanya no matter who wins.

On a side note, Ian Garry has been completely MIA during fight week. I'd have expected him to making noise and being a bit of a story of the week but it feels like the fight isn't even happening. They spoke about it on the Ringer MMA show where Petesy Carroll spoke about how buzz has quietened because he's basically alienated the Irish audience already along with the general diehard fanbase. I know nothing about his opponent so can't predict the fight but i want to see if he can do anything to capture the fans imagination.

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45 minutes ago, Egg Shen said:

Strickland apologised for fighting like a pussy last time out

Thing is, he pretty much always fights the same. I think I’ve seen most of his UFC fights over the last 8 years he’s been on the roster and most of it, from my memory, has resembled a sparring session. So if he’s acting like the Hermansson fight was a one-off case of him being a dullard, it wasn’t. It’s like he’s incorporated the shouting at his opponents mid-fight in an attempt to make his fights less boring.

I’m with you though, I’ve got a bad feeling he’s gonna derail the Pereira train tonight. I still think he’s the most winnable fight for Pereira out of the higher ranked guys, just because he’s predominantly a striker that lacks power. But unless Pereira has some hidden grappling skills we haven’t seen yet, you’d think Strickland should be able to take him down and exploit that weakness. I really hope he tries to just strike with Pereira and gets flattened but I can’t see it.

55 minutes ago, Egg Shen said:

On a side note, Ian Garry has been completely MIA during fight week.

I wanna like him because he doesn’t seem like a bad guy. But he really does just feel like another Conor McGregor tribute act and the whole content of his talk seems to consist of him just saying he’s a great talker without actually saying anything of note whatsoever. His opponent Gabriel Green’s not bad. No world beater and hasn’t blown me away in the past but he looked a right handful in his last fight. The commentators said he’d had some vision problem in the past that he got sorted, so maybe that’s why he looked improved last time. Based on that showing and Garry not exactly looking amazing at times in his first couple of UFC fights, this could be a tough test for Garry. 


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Has anyone noticed Adesanya's finger nails coming into this fight? Long as hell. I assumed that they'd make him trim them before the fight, obviously. An eye poke is bad enough without it being done by a finger with a fucking talon on the end of it.

However, it seems he was allowed to wear his nails that way going into the Whittaker fight...


What the actual fuck?

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Thats a belting card, isnt it? Theres enough on the prelims to fill 3 Apex shows.

Do we think Lawler will be gone if he loses here? Excluding the Diaz freak show, his last win was against Cerrone around five years ago. That fight was one year after Woodley smashed him and took the title, which seems like an absolute lifetime ago. Surely the end if he loses this. Heres hoping he can pull something out of the bag.

Was browsing Uriah Hall's wiki as well. That fight with Weidman where he snapped his leg was just one year ago. Seems way longer than that in my eyes.

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Another Adesanya fight card…


Same end result.

Wasn’t the best main event to watch, was it? Another clear points win for Izzy but it just never got going. It’s weird but as good as Adesanya is, he’s not been great to watch for a while for me now. I like him but I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a fight of his since he schooled Paulo Costa. And of course the FOTY with Gastelum was incredible. But the fights with Romero, Vettori, Blachowicz, the Whittaker rematch…I just haven’t enjoyed watching them. Not even criticising him because he’s getting the job done, he’s winning, he’s retaining his belt, he’s taking little damage and he’s getting paid. What he’s doing is working and you can’t fault him for that. It’s on his opponents to drag him into more of a fight and most of them haven’t been able to do that. I really thought Cannonier was gonna make it interesting. I never liked his chances of actually winning but I thought he was just mad enough and unpredictable enough that he’d make for a more lively encounter along the lines of the Costa fight. He had nothing to offer really though. It’s surely Adesanya vs Pereira next so we’ll see how that goes. It’s got the backstory already, so that spices it up if nothing else.

Genuinely blown away by what Alexander Volkanovski did last night. I knew full well going in that he’s one of the best fighters on the planet right now and I was picking him to go 3-0 but I never thought it was possible for him to beat Max any more clearly than he did in their first fight. Especially with the rematch being so close. But here we are. A 5-0 shutout and that 5th round was probably the most one sided of the 15 total rounds they’ve shared the Octagon together. There were a few times when I really thought they might stop it for that cut above Max’s eye as well. That was vile.


A scary, scary man. I think me rewatching the first 2 fights this weekend made this even more impressive to me as well. Because it really showed how Volkanovski has gone from strength to strength. He was saying in the buildup that he “didn’t show up” in the second fight and had stuff disrupting him going into the fight. That stuff usually gets chalked up as excuses but seeing how incredible he looked last night, never letting Max truly get in it from round 1 to round 5, I believe him.

“I’m too good, I’ve put the work in…I’ve got his number. He knows that. If he was ever gonna beat me, last time was his best chance. I didn’t turn up, he did, and he still couldn’t get it done. And I know I’m turning up tomorrow.”

That’s what he said on Friday. Then he went out and shut Holloway down completely. Amazing. There seemed to be a bit of an edge to him for this one as well. He was talking more shit, in the buildup and even in the cage. I think he really wanted to prove a point after the silly robbery talk last time. He came in looking to close this Max Holloway chapter of his career for good. And for all my talk going in about being fine with these 2 fighting 4 or 5 times if need be, Volk’s killed that dead now. Even if it was a Best Of 5, Max can’t win because Volk’s already clean sweeped him. And it’s not just that it’s 3-0, it’s how clear cut this third fight was for Volk. It’s over. Sad to see as a Holloway fan because he’s still so fucking good himself. But Volkanovski is the man now.


Max is probably gonna have to give Lightweight a proper bash. I still think he most likely beats the rest of the 145 division but he’s locked out of the title picture regardless now as long as Volk’s champ. If Max stays at 145 just picking off contenders and waiting for someone else to dethrone Volk so he can get another shot, I think he’ll be waiting a while because I really don’t see Volko losing that belt anytime soon.

Honestly, looking at them both, I think Volk might’ve overtaken Usman for me now as far as the #1 pound-for-pound talk goes. There’s not a lot in it but 3 wins over Holloway trumps anything Usman’s done, in my opinion. What’s even next for Volk now? There’s not much interesting on the immediate horizon for him at 145. There’s Josh Emmett but I don’t know. Even the winner of Ortega/Yair doesn’t seem right with Ortega recently losing to Volk and Yair losing to Max. So what are we thinking? Superfight up in weight against Charles Oliveira? Superfight with Aljamain Sterling? Does Henry Cejudo come back and challenge him? Sterling and Cejudo have already expressed interest in it. Fuck knows. Sounded like he’s thinking 155. There’s options but nothing stands out as the obvious next move. I’d kind of be inclined to just go with Volk vs Emmett for now but he’ll probably want something juicier now and he’s earned it. He can’t really do much more at 145 to add to his legacy at this point other than just increasing the number of his title defences.

Alex Pereira sparking Sean Strickland was a thing of beauty and by far the highlight of the entire card for me.


Fucking lovely. And after all the shite Strickland talked this week, about Pereira and towards Adesanya at the press conference, it made it all the more satisfying. I said from the time the fight was announced that Strickland was the highest ranked most winnable fight currently for Pereira but as the fight got closer I felt like Strickland was probably gonna take the safe route and just grapple this one out. He’s not usually a grappler but, as knuckleheaded as he is, I thought he wouldn’t be stupid enough to stand and strike with Pereira. Well, he was stupid enough to not only do just that, but to walk forwards at Pereira, with piss poor defence. Even before the KO, I don’t know what he was hoping for. He literally just walked forward doing some weird shit with his arms while eating punches and leg kicks. Seeing him get decked was hilarious.

Barberena vs Lawler was exactly the kind of slugfest everyone anticipated from the nanosecond it was announced. Just wall to wall chaos and violence. Lawler was still looking dangerous early on and I really thought he might end it when he connected with that big uppercut but Barberena’s stupidly tough and as it went on he just kept chipping away and chipping away until he got the opening he was looking for in the second round.


Gutted to see Lawler stopped but this was such a great fight. Glad they got the FOTN bonus. They deserved at least double that, to be honest. Tremendous stuff. Did anyone else get serious Nick Diaz vibes watching Barberena’s striking? The way he was throwing a ton of lighter shots then chucking in a few haymakers here and there and mixing in occasional body shots, it was young Nick Diaz 101. I fucking love that step-in, upward elbow he does as well. He’s really became a favourite of mine to watch ever since that war with Vicente Luque a few years back. So as shite as it was seeing Lawler get finished, it sweetened the pill a little bit that at least it was in an incredible fight with someone like Barberena. It didn’t overtake Glover vs Jiri in the FOTY race but it’s high up on my list so far this year. Barberena’s had two of them in a row now as well, the Matt Brown fight in March was another corker.

O’Malley vs Munhoz was a right letdown on all fronts. Really expected a barnburner between these two to open up the main card. Plus I really liked Munhoz as a test for Suga Sean. I felt like we’d finally get a perfect gauge on where O’Malley is at skills-wise because Munhoz is experienced and been in with some of the best, he’s got a bit of a dig on him and he’d never been finished. Plus he’s always had really nasty calf kicks and O’Malley got his legs kicked off by Chito Vera in his only loss. So I was looking forward to this and, while it wasn’t a bad fight, it never caught fire in the round and a half it lasted, and then it ended in controversy.


Of course, social media is full of people saying Munhoz was “looking for a way out” today. It seems like it’s half down to the weird stiffy most of the MMA fanbase seems to have for O’Malley and half down to the arse rimming the commentators were giving O’Malley convincing people that he was dominating the fight, forcing Munhoz to ‘quit’. The way they were talking O’Malley up before the eye poke was a bit much for me. Rogan with his “this is another level from O’Malley” shite and DC talking like he’s got Francis Ngannou power or something. Was it just me who didn’t see anything amazing in O’Malley’s performance here? He landed some good shots but he also ate a shitload of leg kicks and didn’t seem to have much of an answer for them. The way people are talking today it’s like he was wrecking Munhoz, like it was Edgar vs Maynard round 1 stuff. I actually thought Munhoz probably won the first round. Didn’t help that Rogan was openly calling into question the legitimacy of the eye poke as well, insinuating Munhoz was faking it to get a DQ. Load of bollocks. His eye doesn’t look too clever here;


He says he went to hospital and they found he had a scratch “all the way around the cornea”. But yeah, the man who’s fought Aldo, Cruz, Edgar, Sterling etc and never been stopped, and was doing well in round 1 of this fight, just quit because he’s terrified of a walking candyfloss. Seriously, O’Malley fans aren’t a million miles behind McGregor fans for me now. Just constant tongueing his arse out. I don’t wanna see O’Malley take another 3 tune-up fights now either. Cut the shite and give him another proper test. Either do the rematch with Munhoz or something on that level.

Jalin Turner pissing through Brad Riddell like he did was a bit of a shock. Not that he won but to stun him and submit him in 45 seconds wasn’t the way I saw that fight going. Shame really because if this would’ve gone longer I think it would’ve been fireworks. Turner is on a roll now. Had a shaky start to his UFC career but is now on a 5 fight winning streak, all finishes. Riddell’s such a tough little bastard as well, which made this win even more impressive for Turner. Again, we say it all the time but Lightweight, man. The depth is insane. Nobody even talks about Turner as one to watch in the division but we’re gonna have to now. He should hopefully get a bit of decent name next coming off a win like this.

Miller vs Cerrone 2 went pretty much how I think most expected. Neither in their prime anymore but Miller can still go and Cerrone’s looked finished for some time. I think everyone had a feeling this was gonna come down to who has more left in the tank in 2022, and that was clearly Miller before and during this fight. Nice to see Miller not only avenge that 2014 loss but also get the submission and make history…


Most wins in the UFC is a nice achievement. I really hope he makes it to UFC 300 as well because that would be another really cool accomplishment if he goes down in history as the man who fought at UFC 100, 200 and 300. I hope he pulls it off and, on current form, I see no reason why he can’t unless he completely drops off a cliff in his next few fights. As long as they don’t start just sacrificing him to the young killers at 155, I think he can go until 2024 when UFC 300 should be.

That’s Cerrone done then.


Quite a career. Never ‘the man’ but he was a fan favourite and had some hot spells and some fun fights. I’ve had a love/hate thing with Cowboy over the years though. Loved him in the WEC days and early in his UFC run. Had spells where I kind of soured on him but usually came back around to liking him. Over the last few years though it’s swung back to disliking him and it’s stayed that way. From him saying racist shit, defending saying racist shit, him repeatedly dismissing opponents and pretending he didn’t know who they were (then losing to them) and some stories Bobby Green told years ago. My opinion settled on him being a fucking dick. So I can’t say I had a warm, fuzzy feeling watching his little retirement speech but it’s definitely the end of a hell of a run and, although he wasn’t ever elite elite, he was a fantastic fighter when he was ‘on’. I think a lot of fans have forgotten that seeing his slump over the last few years. Miller was a class act post-fight as well, bless him. Let Cerrone almost completely take the spotlight.

Ian Garry had his best performance yet in the UFC for me. Gabe Green was his toughest opponent yet and Garry looked better than his previous fights to me. Still something about him that I’m not fully convinced by but he looked good here and he’s 10-0 now and still only 24. I don’t see him as some massive future star, I think a lot of that hype is people looking for the next breakout Irish star now McGregor is on the slide. But if he can keep improving then who’s to say how far he can go? One to keep an eye on.

Du Plessis vs Tavares was nuts. Barmy brawl. Both just trying to knock each other’s head off the full 15 minutes.


I’ve become a fan of Du Plessis and enjoyed his couple of KOs in his first 2 UFC fights but I had a feeling Tavares might be harder to put away. He’s granite hard. And he gave DDP some scares himself as well, wasn’t all one way traffic. Du Plessis showed some flaws here but also showed toughness and that he’s game as fuck for any kind of battle. Came back from a rough first round to put a beating on Tavares, but Tavares just wouldn’t go away. What a fight. I’m totally fine with Lawler vs Bam Bam getting FOTN but it’s criminal these two never also got a bonus for this.

Andre Muniz vs Uriah Hall wasn’t much cop but it was a nice win and a solid performance from Muniz. He’s becoming a bit of a darkhorse at 185. I saw a bit of criticism toward him as if he’s a boring fighter, which is bollocks because he’d rattled off 3 straight first round armbars coming into this one, including breaking fucking Jacare’s arm and retiring him! What a boring bastard. Hall was Hall. Never sure what version is showing up from one fight to the next. He looked disinterested at times here and outclassed the rest of the time.

Maycee Barber predictably beat Jessica Eye and pretty much did what she wanted for 15 minutes. I said in the opening post that I thought the writing was on the wall for Eye and the UFC matchmakers seemed to have settled on just feeding her to prospects. This was another case of that. Not surprised Eye retired after. She hit her ceiling a while back and it’s not getting any better for her. Typical of Eye though, her retirement moment felt insignificant in light of Cerrone laying down the hat and gloves later on.

Julija Stoliarenko mangling Jessica Rose Clark’s arm in the Fight Pass curtain jerker was rough to watch.


42 seconds it took. Poor Jess 😞 that’s two first round armbar losses on the trot now as well. Stoliarenko needed this win badly though. She’d gone 0-3 in the UFC coming in and was probably looking at getting her walking papers with another L here. This couldn’t have gone any better for her. I liked her post-fight interview as well talking about not taking any chances with subs and being willing to snap limbs. Ruthless lady.

A strong card on the whole but the main and co-main kind of let it down in a weird way just because they weren’t very competitive. Not that there was anything technically wrong with Izzy or Volk’s performances but if one or both of those fights would’ve been a war or a close battle you’re looking at a show of the year contender. Because the undercard really delivered big time. From the Du Plessis vs Tavares slobberknocker to Miller making history and Cerrone retiring to the Barberena vs Lawler craziness to Strickland getting wiped out. The 2 title fights were great individual performances but so one sided they lost some of their excitement in the process. I think it would’ve played better if they went with Volk vs Max 3 on last because Volk putting on a masterclass was more entertaining than Izzy vs Cannonier but whatever. Good stuff all in all.

Oh and who let these reptiles in?


Edited by wandshogun09
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Had to zone out all commentary after the DDP/Taveres fight. Entire 15 mins of Rogan questioning everything every single thing Du Plessis did meanwhile he was doing monumental damage and winning an unquestionable decision in a hell of a fight.

Huge shock - not everyone needs to fight exactly how Joe Rogan thinks people should fight!

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