The featherweight title hangs in the balance when Max Holloway and Alexander Volkanovski complete their legendary trilogy in the co-main event of UFC 276 on Saturday night. Read on for our Holloway-Volkanovski picks and predictions.
Is the third time the charm for Holloway? Down 2-0 in their career series, Holloway is hoping his trilogy bout with Volkanovski finally returns the gold back to his waist. After dropping the second scintillating bout with “The Great” via razor-close split decision, “Blessed” went back to completely overwhelming his opponents, racking up consecutive one-sided thrashings of Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez.
Not to be outdone, Volkanovski has successfully defended his title twice since his second bout with Holloway, completely laying waste to Brian Ortega before using Chan Sung Jung as nothing more than a sentient punching bag back at UFC 273 in April.
Can Holloway finally defeat Volkanovski and claim his place as quite possibly the greatest 145-pounder of all time? Or will Volkanovski close out the trilogy with 10.45 pounds of gold dripping from his waist?
Here are my picks and predictions for the UFC 276 featherweight championship showdown between Holloway and Volkanovski (odds via Caesars Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook; and pick confidence is based on a one-to-five star scale).
Holloway vs. Volkanovski Fight Info
Date: Saturday, July 2, 10:00 p.m. ET (main card)
TV: ESPN+, PPV
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, NV
Holloway vs. Volkanovski Odds Analysis
With a 2-0 head-to-head record, it’s no surprise that Volkanovski opened as a -146 favorite. That number has grown as high as -210 over at Caesars.
With both bouts being closely contested, there’s definitely some value in backing Holloway, who can be snatched up at +175.
Max Holloway Betting Profile
Blessed with a reservoir-deep gas tank, Holloway became one of the best fighters on the planet by overwhelming his opponents with sheer volume. Holloway buries his opponents in an avalanche of fists and feet until their defenses are completely eroded. The former champ’s resume is ridiculous, counting Rodriguez, Kattar, Cub Swanson, Ricardo Lamas, Jeremey Stephens, Brian Ortega, former champions Frankie Edgar, Anthony Pettis, and Charles Oliveira, and all-time featherweight great Jose Aldo among his laundry list of fallen foes.
Holloway will need a performance akin to the second bout if he hopes to emerge victorious on Saturday night. Although he lost by decision, there’s a good argument to be made that the Holloway-Volkanovski series should be knotted at one win apiece.
Should he pile up the points with volume striking while avoiding Volkanovski’s power, he could escape T-Mobile Arena with the title around his waist.
Alexander Volkanovski Betting Profile
An incredibly well-rounded fighter with seemingly no holes in his game, Volkanovski had both the pace and output to match Holloway in their first two bouts. He’s also added more power striking to his game, which could factor in heavily when this bout inevitably drags into the championship rounds. Undefeated since joining the UFC in 2016, Volkanovski’s herculean march to the 145-pound throne (and subsequent title defenses) included wins over Holloway, Aldo, Ortega, Chad Mendes, Darren Elkins, and The Korean Zombie.
As long as Volkanovski can continue to match Holloway’s pace, a few demonstrably powerful shots and well-timed takedowns could potentially sway the judges to rule in his favor once more.
Holloway vs. Volkanovski Picks
- Volkanovski (-190 via DraftKings) ???
- Volkanovski by decision (+120 via Caesars) ???
Holloway vs. Volkanovski Predictions
The champ eclipsed Holloway’s prodigious volume striking in the first two bouts, and I’m expecting more of the same in the third. He also landed three takedowns in their second encounter, proving he can use his wrestling when things get hairy.
That isn’t to say that the challenger won’t be game, as few fighters possess the kind of will coursing through Holloway’s veins.
Based on their first two fights, this is a bit of a coin flip, but it’s hard to bet against the fighter who owns the 2-0 head-to-head record.
Volkanovski by decision (+120)
Volkanovksi wasn’t able to put Holloway away at any point during their first two fights, and I doubt he’ll be able to do it in a third. The Hawaiian has an iron chin and has never been stopped with strikes in his 29-fight career.
I envision a thrilling, back-and-forth five-round affair with Volkanovski emerging from the blood mist with his hand raised in triumph.
Where to Bet on Holloway vs. Volkanovski Picks
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Holloway-Volkanovski picks made on 6/29/2022 at 5:25 p.m. ET.