Former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway returns to action looking to bounce back from defeat and reclaim the 145-pound title.
Holloway (21-5 MMA, 17-5 UFC) takes on Alexander Volkanovski, who defeated him at UFC 245 last December to capture the featherweight title in Las Vegas. Now the pair are set to meet again in an eagerly-anticipated rematch, with the Hawaiian determined to reclaim UFC gold.
UFC 251 takes place at Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, on Saturday, July 11 (Sunday, July 12 locally) and will be streamed live on ESPN+ pay per view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.
Holloway was widely considered to be one of the greatest featherweight champions in UFC history heading into UFC 245, but Australia’s Volkanovski (21-1 MMA, 8-0 UFC) produced a superb performance to outpoint “Blessed” and capture the title at the T-Mobile Arena.
Now Holloway will look to return the favor and hand Volkanovski his first UFC loss as the pair face off for a second time in the co-main event on “Fight Island.” Ahead of his clash with Volkanovski on Saturday, we take a look at the five fights that have helped define Holloway’s UFC career so far.
Cub Swanson at UFC on Fox 15 – Apr. 18, 2015
Holloway’s career was gathering serious momentum by the time he stepped into the octagon for his 12th UFC fight. The young Hawaiian, who had suffered early UFC career losses to Dustin Poirier, Dennis Bermudez and Conor McGregor, had found his consistency and was riding a five-fight win streak when he stepped into the octagon to take on perennial contender Cub Swanson in Newark, New Jersey. When he exited the cage, he did so with fans and pundits excited for just how far he might go in the sport.
Holloway showcased his striking skills to break down Swanson on the feet before eventually finishing the former WEC veteran in the final round to cap off arguably his most complete performance in the UFC to that point, as he finished his man with a guillotine choke with just over a minute of the fight remaining to announce himself as a rising star of the division.
Next up: Outgunning a gunslinger