The Bigger Picture | UFC 298

Volkanovski won his first dozen fights in the UFC, collecting wins over Jeremy Kennedy, Darren Elkins, Chad Mendes, and Jose Aldo before besting Max Holloway twice to win and retain the featherweight title.

He then successfully defended the belt against Brian Ortega, Chan Sung Jung, and Holloway once more prior to chasing the lightweight strap and landing on the wrong side of things against Islam Makhachev last February. After that loss, Volkanovski returned to featherweight and reminded everyone of his greatness, dominating interim champ Yair Rodriguez at UFC 290 to earn his 12th consecutive UFC victory in the 145-pound weight class.

There are going to be those that want to pick at Volkanovski’s resume, question the strength of schedule he fought, and generally revise history now that he’s been forced to abdicate the throne and is currently sitting on two straight losses, but let’s get one thing crystal clear: this was an incredible run for the 35-year-old Australian.

I’m not big on the “greatest of all time” conversations because I think it’s incredibly difficult to compare across generations, especially with athletes intersecting at different times in their careers, but in terms of the overall quality of his wins, the level of skill, adaptability, and intelligence displayed inside the Octagon, Volkanovski should be regarded as one of the best to ever do it, especially in the lighter weight classes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *