Max Holloway out of Alexander Volkanovski title fight with ‘Korean Zombie’ favourite to step in at UFC 272

An injury will deny the Hawaiian a chance to regain the featherweight belt in a third meeting with Volkanovski

Alex Pattle
Combat Sports Correspondent
Saturday 08 January 2022 12:39
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Max Holloway will no longer challenge Alexander Volkanovski for the featherweight title at UFC 272, with an injury forcing the former champion out of the bout.

Just days after the UFC announced the trilogy fight – scheduled for 5 March at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena – ESPN reported on Friday that Holloway had aggravated a previous injury.

As such, the Hawaiian will miss out on a chance to regain the featherweight belt from Volkanovski.

Australian Volkanovski beat Holloway via unanimous decision in December 2019 to win the title, before retaining it against “Blessed” via split decision in July 2020.

Since then, Holloway has fought and won twice – outpointing Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez in 2021 – while Volkanovski has competed once, beating Brian Ortega via unanimous decision last year.

While Holloway, 30, has not yet confirmed the news of his withdrawal from the bout, Volkanovski was quick to take to social media and call out the ‘Korean Zombie’, Chan Sung Jung.

Meanwhile, Henry Cejudo offered to come out of retirement to challenge Volkanovski, 33.

American Cejudo, who retired in 2020, held the flyweight and bantamweight titles simultaneously, before relinquishing the former.

In his final bout, the former Olympic gold medalist wrestler retained the bantamweight belt against ex-champion Dominick Cruz.

Cejudo retired immediately after the contest but has since expressed a desire to compete again and become the UFC’s first ever three-weight champion. He is one of just four UFC fighters to have held two titles at once.

Upon the initial announcement of Holloway vs Volkanovski 3, the UFC also revealed that a bantamweight title rematch between Aljamain Sterling and Petr Yan will take place at UFC 272.

Sterling took the belt from Yan last March when the Russian was disqualified for landing an illegal knee.

Jamaican-American Sterling has not fought since, while Yan claimed the interim title in October by outpointing Cory Sandhagen in a fight of the year contender.

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