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Max Holloway Forced Out of UFC 272 Championship Trilogy With Alexander Volkanovski


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The MMA gods giveth, and the MMA gods taketh away.

On Wednesday, Ultimate Fighting Championship head Dana White announced that Alexander Volkanovski (23-1) would be facing Max Holloway (23-6) for the third time atop UFC 272. The two were set to throw down on March 5 inside the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, but that fight was not meant to be. Per ESPN on Friday, Holloway has aggravated a past injury and can no longer compete on the March 5 card. There is no current word on whether Volkanovski will receive a replacement foe in two months, or if the headliner will shift to Aljamain Sterling vs. Petr Yan 2.

Since a knockout loss in 2013 to Corey Nelson, Volkanovski has looked nigh-unbeatable in the sport. The Aussie has won an incredible 20 fights in a row, including 10 inside the Octagon. On his way up the division, Volkanovski topped Darren Elkins, Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo to get a crack at Holloway’s throne. Ultimately claiming the crown from the Hawaiian in late 2019 and then defending it against him in 2020, Volkanovski’s last performance came in a thriller against Brian Ortega in September 2021.

Holloway’s 2021 efforts proved to be fruitful, as he walloped Calvin Katter in Sherdog’s 2021 “Beatdown of the Year” winner that January. “Blessed” returned in November to face high-flying Yair Rodriguez, and the two battled it out for five hard rounds until Holloway had his hand raised to put his first win streak together since 2018. Win or lose, each of the last six outings for Holloway have gone the full 25 minutes.

At this time, Volkanovski still is sitting in the headliner spot on UFC 272, which is slated to take place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, without an opponent set. Should he be removed from the card, the likely new main attraction would come in the form of the rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan in a grudge match for bantamweight gold. Other key matchups on the card include a pivotal strawweight tilt pitting Marina Rodriguez against Xiaonan Yan, a featherweight scrap between Edson Barboza and Bryce Mitchell, and a 125-pound matchup between Jessica Eye and Manon Fiorot.

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