Don’t sleep on the UFC 245 co-main event.
UFC 245 is a card jam-packed with a host of incredible fights. From Petr Yan vs Urijah Faber and Marlon Moraes vs Jose Aldo to Amanda Nunes vs Germaine DeRandame and Kamaru Usman vs Colby Covington, there are a ton of matches to be excited about at this event.
But the fight that has a great chance at stealing the show is the showdown between UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway and challenger Alexander Volkanovski. With both fighters in the prime of their career and poised to showcase their dominance in the division, it’s sure to be a match up that leaves fans wanting more.
So how exactly does each man get their hand raised come Saturday night? The breakdown below should show some keys to victory for each fighter.
Perhaps the most dominant featherweight in UFC history, Max Holloway has showcased his superiority in the cage time and again, battering the opposition from pillar to post with accurate high volume combinations. Holloway has a style that is predicated on keeping a high pace and volume after getting a read on opponents and steadily ramping things up as the fight progresses.
In Alexander Volkanovski, Max Holloway faces a powerful and complete mixed martial artist with a penchant for high volume striking in his own right. Controlling and maintain distance will have to be a priority for Holloway in this match. He’ll have to lean heavily on his jabs to set up his long range barrages. In particular, due to his height advantage, Holloway should look to keep Volkanovski at bay with the jab and time his explosions forward with an uppercut.
Front or side kicks will also pay dividends for Max Holloway in order to disrupt Volkanovski’s rhythm. Since Volkanovski is a mover, Holloway should look to walk him into left and right hooks as well as a steady dose of low calf kicks to further disrupt his movement.
On the flip side, Alexander Volkanovski will need to work his way on the inside in order to give Holloway trouble. Waiting on the outside only benefits Holloway, particularly if his opponent isn’t offering many fakes and feints. It’s a good thing that Volkanovski’s game revolves around his superior ability to keep his opponent’s guessing with a number of different looks.
For the challenger, the leg kick is what he’ll want to lean on against the formidable champion. Holloway has a very boxing focused attack, which leads him to standing heavy on the front leg. In his bout with Jose Aldo, Alexander Volkanovski showed a propensity for attacking the lead leg with inside leg kicks before uncorking a combination when the former featherweight king didn’t see it coming.
Both men are going to need to rely on volume in this fight. Volkanovski will do well to mix in some wrestling here and there, but only for single legs. Double leg takedowns are easier to defend and could find him in a clinch situation with a fighter who has been known to do great work in close. Holloway will need to dominate the center of the cage and constantly turn his opponent into the direction he wishes him to go to catch the challenger while he’s moving to a new angle. Slipping a cross right down the middle when Volkanovski offers side to side movement will be money for Holloway and could be a key weapon to pick up the offense.
Both fighters will be sure to have full gas tanks and will be able to push the pace throughout. It could be as simple as coming down to Holloway’s accuracy and volume versus Volkanovski’s feints and power. This is one fight you shouldn’t miss at UFC 245.
Who do you think wins at UFC 245?
Managing Editor at Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.
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