Volkanovski vs Holloway Predictions UFC 251 Breakdown

The Co-Main event for UFC Fight Island is a rematch between an amazing war we witnessed a little over 6 months ago. This fight could rightfully headline its own pay per view card and we would pay good money to see it! As always our only question here is how can we make some cash? Let’s look at my Volkanovski vs Holloway 2 predictions.

Alexander Volkanovski vs Max Holloway Odds

UFC 250 Featherweight Championship Alexander Volkanovski Mac Holloway
To Win Outright -200 +170

There is a clear gap between the champions of 145 and the rest of the pack. There are some quality contenders on the rise but Volkanovki and Holloway have stood head and shoulders above the rest for some time. Given how dominant a champion that Max has been over the past few years he absolutely deserves this chance at a rematch and this will be a game of adjustments. Who learned more from the last fight? Who has the tools to change their game up and come back with a better plan? That will decide this fight.

UFC Fighter Alexander Volkanovski
Odds -200
Age 31 years old
Height 5’9
Reach 71’
Wins by KO/TKO 11
Win/Loss 21-1
Finish Rate 66%

The rugby player turned MMA fighter has had an unreal level of success. The amount of strength packed into the little monster that is Alexander Volkanovski is unreal. Volkanovski has used his physical pressure style and big power to wreck any man in front of him since 2013. In the UFC he appeared to be fast-tracked to the title in a division wanting for challengers and he made the best of it.

After grinding out a win over Darren Elkins Volk got that signature win when he TKO’d the former title contender Chad Mendes in 2018. After that point, it was all championship level fights. Volkanovski cost me some money when he beat a resurging Jose Aldo and then took the strap from Holloway. In the space of about a year, Volkanovski came out of nowhere for most people and turned the division upside down.

UFC Fighter Max Holloway 
Odds +170
Age 28 years old
Height 5’11
Reach 69’
Wins by KO/TKO 10
Win/Loss 21-5
Finish Rate 58%

Max Holloway is a very old young man. We talked about him briefly last week when discussing Dustin Poirier and his story is much the same. Max Holloway has been around for a very long time and has fought an extremely high level of competition his entire career and had risen to the top of the division rapidly. Max is a special breed of Hawaiian warrior and has an uncanny ability to take damage without flinching and has a never-ending gas tank.

Max turns the heat up as his opponents wilt in fights. He showed this ability off in his back to back wins over the legend Jose Aldo finishing him in the 3rd round of both fights in nearly the exact same manner and cementing himself as the new king. Prior to losing his title, Max’s only real step back was his late notice step up to face Dustin Poirier in a rematch for the lightweight strap in Khabib’s absence.

Volkanovski vs Holloway – The Verdict

Max Holloway towers over Volk but somehow finds himself at a reach disadvantage. Max appeared to struggle with the range, which is uncharacteristic of him, in their first fight but eventually figured it out. Volkanovski proved to be the first 145er in an extremely long time who was able to keep pace with Holloway for a full 25-minute fight.

Something we have to bear in mind about the first fight however was that it was Max’s 4th high profile title fight in about a year. Max had just been through the wood chipper that was his fight with Poirier and even though he had fought and defeated Ortega and Edgar rather easily he still had the wear and tear of champion life and fight camps. That will take its toll on a man. I honestly believe that Max may not have been himself in his fight with Volkanovski just through.

Max went to war with Volkanovski and I think simply expected to have his game plan work like it always does. Max is still incredibly young and able to learn and grow as a fighter and I expect him to do so, but when you are a champion defending your strap that many times there isn’t really time to just sit back and take stock of your strengths and weaknesses. Max has taken roughly 7 months between fights and I expect that time to pay dividends. The excessive leg kick game that Volk used to out-land Max in their first fight shouldn’t be as effective this time around and I would anticipate growth from Max’s whole game.

The first fight was extremely close and I expect that the second one will be as well. In MMA we tend to see a trend where the younger fighter wins rematches and I expect Max to be able to make the necessary adjustments to go out there and get his belt back. From a line value standpoint, we can comfortably side with Max as well because this fight is extremely close. The last time out Volkanovski didn’t blow Max out of the water and outlanded him 157 significant strikes to 134. Over the course of a 25-minute fight that’s pretty close. I think there is value to be had with Max Holloway and honestly would love to see a trilogy for that belt to decide who the true king of 145 is.

The Pick: Max Holloway +170