Alexander Volkanovski makes UFC history in never-before-seen feat

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Alexander Volkanovski, pictured here after beating Max Holloway in their third bout for the UFC featherweight title.
Alexander Volkanovski beat Max Holloway in their third bout for the UFC featherweight title. Image: Getty

Alexander Volkanovski has become the first fighter in UFC history to beat the same opponent three times in title fights, taking down Max Holloway in their trilogy fight on Saturday.

Australia's featherweight world champion lived up to his moniker of 'Alexander the Great' with a dominant points win and third victory over former title holder Holloway at UFC 276 in Las Vegas.

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Volkanovski, from the NSW South Coast town of Windang, dominated with his fists, punishing Holloway with left jabs and right hand blows, opening up a cut above the Hawaiian's left eyebrow in the second round.

While the first two fights were close, 33-year-old Volkanovski dominated their third encounter with his fast hands, winning every round on all three judges' scorecards.

Volkanovski has won 22 fights in a row since his only MMA loss in 2013.

The Aussie champ is now 25-1 in his career and 11-0 in the UFC.

Volkanovski executed a sharp boxing game plan against one of the UFC's best punchers, bloodying Holloway's face and steadily increasing the punishment into the final minutes.

“Max Holloway is an absolute beast,” Volkanovski said after the fight.

“That intensity that we both had, I needed it. I really needed it. I had to get in my own head.”

Alexander Volkanovski, pictured here celebrating with his team after defending his UFC featherweight title.
Alexander Volkanovski celebrates with his team after defending his UFC featherweight title. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Volkanovski is ranked second pound-for-pound in the UFC’s rankings and is the best featherweight by a long margin.

He now has his eye on the lightweight division, telling Joe Rogan after the fight that he wants to move up.

UFC president Dana White said he’d allow Volkanovski to fight for the belt if he moves up, and Volkanovski seemed to indicate in the cage that’s what he’d do.

“This division is not enough to keep me busy,” Volkanovski said of the featherweights.

“I want to move up because I need two divisions to keep me busy.”

Volkanovski also became just the fourth fighter in UFC history to win his first 12 fights, joining Anderson Silva, Kamaru Usman and Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The UFC world was left in disbelief over the insane display from the Aussie.

Jim Miller breaks UFC wins record

Before the title fights, Alex Pereira demolished Sean Strickland midway through the first round of a victory that burnished the Brazilian kickboxing champion's status as an immediate title contender.

Bryan Barbarena also stopped Robbie Lawler on strikes late in the second round of a brutal fight in which both veterans absorbed tremendous punishment.

After losing the first round on two judges' scorecards, Barbarena ended it with a prolonged flurry that began with a series of step-in elbows to break down the defense of the 40-year-old Lawler, who had his first UFC bout in 2002.

Alexander Volkanovski, pictured here in action against Max Holloway at UFC 276.
Alexander Volkanovski in action against Max Holloway at UFC 276. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

On the undercard, Jim Miller set a UFC record with his 24th career victory, finishing Donald Cerrone with a guillotine choke in the second round.

The 38-year-old Miller's landmark victory broke his tie with Cerrone and Andrei Arlovski for the UFC's career wins mark.

“You’re never going to see the (combined) numbers that came into this fight ever again, but I’m excited to get the W,” Miller said.

“That guillotine, I can do it in my sleep. I knew it was only a matter of time.”

Veteran flyweight Jessica Eye announced her retirement after losing a decision to Maycee Barber.

with agencies

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