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UFC 276: Volkanovski tops Holloway, Cerrone calls it quits

Alexander Volkanovski defeated Max Holloway for the third time Saturday evening, defending his featherweight title by unanimous determination with a dominant hanging efficiency at UFC 276.

Volkanovski (25-1) prolonged his successful 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 finest punchers, bloodying Holloway’s face early on and steadily growing the punishment into the ultimate minutes.

Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya confronted Jared Cannonier in the primary occasion from T-Mobile Arena on the Vegas Strip.

The penultimate bout of UFC 276 concluded a memorable trilogy between Volkanovski and Holloway, seemingly the 2 biggest featherweights in UFC historical past outdoors of long-reigning champ Jose Aldo. Volkanovski gained two extremely aggressive fights by determination over Holloway in 2019 and 2020, however Holloway gained 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 struggle on the ft, however the smaller Volkanovski capably closed the gap to do injury within the first two rounds, significantly in opening a nasty minimize above Holloway’s left eye. Holloway’s solutions dwindled as his cuts grew bigger, and Volkanovski patiently racked up scoring pictures to depart little doubt within the determination.

Holloway’s complete face was crimson on the ultimate bell. Volkanovski gained each spherical on all three judges’ scorecards, 50-45.

Before the title fights, Alex Pereira demolished Sean Strickland with strikes halfway by means 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 struggle by which each veterans absorbed great punishment. After shedding 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 document together 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 struggle 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 shedding a choice 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 Associated Press.

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