Just as quickly as the world knew we would get to see Volkanovski vs Holloway 3 soon, it’s been taken away by the perils of MMA training and a dreaded injury.
ESPN was first to report that an injury has forced Max Holloway (23-6) out of a planned, but not official, trilogy fight with long-time rival and reigning featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski (23-1). The outlet noted that the Hawaiian aggravated a “prior injury” just days after agreeing to a third championship bout with the Aussie.
Volkanovski vs Holloway 3 off UFC 272 card
On Wednesday, ESPN was also the source that broke the news of the booking that was set to headline the UFC’s Mar. 5 pay-per-view event UFC 272. The event is expected to take place inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It is unclear if Volkanovski will remain on the card and face a new challenger, or if the matchup will be scheduled for a later date.
The card’s co-main event is to be another planned but not yet official title fight pitting bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling in a unification bout and rematch with interim titlist Petr Yan. Sterling won the title this past March after being unable to finish the fourth round after getting hit with an illegal knee while down.
Unless a new featherweight title bout is made, that matchup is likely to slot in as the new headliner.
Volkanovski ended Holloway’s three-year reign as 145-pound champion by unanimous decision in Dec. 2019. The pair ran it back seven months later, and on that night at UFC 251, “The Great” successfully defended his title for the first time with a razor-thin split-decision victory, some called controversial following the bout.
After his second loss to the champion, Holloway racked up back-to-back wins over top-10 fighters Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez. Volkanovski defending his belt for a second time in Sept., beating top contender Brian Ortega.