A pair of championship fights will headline the upcoming UFC 272 card on March 5, with Alexander Volkanovski putting his featherweight title on the line in a trilogy against Max Holloway, and Aljamain Sterling facing Petr Yan in a bantamweight title unification bout on the same night.
Volkanovski and Holloway will meet for the third time after the Australian previously earned wins in back-to-back fights in their previous encounters in 2019 and 2020.
The first fight at UFC 245 saw Volkanovski pull off the upset by winning a convincing five-round decision over Holloway to dethrone him as featherweight champion. They met again seven months later at UFC 251 and Volkanovski once again secured the victory, although this time around he earned a razor-close split decision that many people have argued should’ve gone Holloway’s way.
Now they’ll meet again as Volkanovski looks to defend his title for a third time after defeating Brian Ortega by unanimous decision at UFC 266 this past September. As for Holloway, he’s unbeaten since falling for a second time to Volkanovski, having notched wins over Yair Rodriguez and Calvin Kattar.
Meanwhile, Sterling and Yan will also face off on March 5 with plenty of bad blood to settle.
The first fight between them ended in a disqualification after Yan blasted Sterling with an illegal knee in the fourth round at UFC 259. When Sterling was unable to continue, he was declared the new bantamweight champion because of the foul committed by Yan.
A rematch was then planned for later in the year but Sterling was unable to compete after he had neck surgery to repair a lingering injury that had been plaguing him for several years. With Sterling sidelined, Yan ended up claiming the interim bantamweight title with a unanimous decision win over Cory Sandhagen instead.
With Sterling healthy again, he will look to settle things with Yan once and for all as the bantamweights prepare to meet in March.
More fights are expected to be announced for UFC 272 in the coming weeks along with a location and venue for the card.
Mike Heck contributed to this report.