For Volkanovski, the road to contendership involves a seven-fight
winning streak in the UFC, which is part of a larger 17-fight
winning streak overall. Since entering the Octagon in 2016, the
former Australian rugby player has yet to suffer a defeat. Before
he was taking out the likes of Aldo, Mendes and Elkins, he also
Kennedy, Shane Young,
Hirota and Yusuke
Meanwhile, Holloway is looking to build some momentum of his own.
Prior to his recent victory over Frankie
Edgar, the Hawaiian bowed to Dustin
Poirier in his quest for a second UFC title. Before that,
Holloway was on an amazing 13-fight undefeated run.
Holloway has been in a title fight seven times in his career. He
spent his last six fights under the championship lights, but even
before he was signed by the UFC Holloway had already worn gold. In
2011, he beat former Pacific Xtreme Combat lightweight king
Sarmiento to take the X-1 lightweight championship.
While Volkanovski will be fighting for a UFC title for the first
time, he is no stranger to the pressure of a championship bout. He
has been in title fights in different organizations, most notably
PXC and Australian Fighting Championship. His last bout just before
debuting in the Octagon was a title showdown at an Australian
promotion called Wollongong Wars.
Wins by knockout
Of Volkanovski’s 20 career victories, 11 have come via KO or TKO.
Most of those knockouts came during his days fighting in regional
promotions in Australia while three occurred in the UFC, against
Mendes, Kennedy and Kasuya. Holloway, meanwhile, is right on
Volkanovski’s heels with 10. The major difference is that most of
Holloway’s (T)KO victories occurred in the UFC. He has dropped and
stopped Will Chope,
Collard and Akira
Corassani as well as high-level competitors like Brian
Oliveira and Jose Aldo
Wins by submission
Both Holloway and Volkanovski are purple belts in jiu-jitsu and
have shown some good grappling in the cage. Holloway holds
submission wins over Cub Swanson
Fili. Volkanovski, for his part, owns three submission
victories, all of which were outside of the UFC.
Volkanovski has a single blemish on his record, which came from a
TKO loss dealt by fellow countryman Corey
Nelson. Holloway, on the other hand, has been defeated four
times. He was decisioned by Dustin
McGregor and Dustin Bermudez. His lone submission loss was
courtesy of Poirier in their first encounter at UFC 143.