UFC: Eugene Bareman Breaks Down Alex Volkanovski vs Max Holloway 2

City Kickboxing’s head coach Eugene Bareman, believes Max Holloway has not had enough time to make the necessary improvements and adjustments ahead of the rematch with his man, Alex Volkanovski.

In their first encounter at UFC 245, Bareman was instrumental in coming up with the winning game plan to beat Holloway. Volkanovski came out on top of all three judges’ scorecards after five rounds, to become the undisputed UFC featherweight champion. 

A rematch between the two is slated to go down at UFC 251, July 11th on Fight Island. Bareman believes that even though Holloway will likely have made adjustments, that Volkanovski will be too much for him and he will successfully defend his title.

Speaking to Submission Radio (as transcribed by MMA Junkie), Bareman explained the difficulties Holloway will have against Volkanovski in the rematch. 

“In this fight, we know that he’s gonna change some stuff. And for the most part, it’s hard for us to figure out what that’s gonna be. Like, there’s no data on it like there was for the first fight. So, there’s gonna have to be some adaptation on the fly. We’re just gonna have to see what happens. But the other question is, if Max tries to change too much – because there’s such a thing as trying to change too much in a short period of time,” Bareman stated.

“You know, people talk about how Max has to find a way to mitigate the leg kicking that we did, which startled a lot of his game. So, people were saying that he’s gonna have to check those kicks and stuff. But to check those kicks is like, the way he stands and stuff, he stood like that for a decade. Now, you can check my calendar and my watch, but you’re gonna change a decade’s worth of work in a few months? That could possibly take away from your game if you’re gonna do that.”

But should Holloway even attempt to make the necessary changes, Bareman believes that the former champion just won’t have enough time to perfect them ahead of the rematch.

“Smart coaches, they don’t change that much, especially in a shorter period of time like they have,” Bareman said. “Max, I just know from experience, to change some of the things that they’re trying to take away from Alex, it takes years. It takes years of ingraining that. And I don’t know, Max might be a super athlete that can learn at a different rate to everybody else, but for me, that’s the interesting part.

“What changes are they gonna make that aren’t necessarily, that they’re gonna be able to learn in a short period of time since the first fight, that won’t take away from Max’s game? I’m interested to see.”

Although Volkanovski’s game plan was flawlessly executed in the first fight, Bareman went on to say that changes will also be made on their side for the rematch, as the five rounds from their first encounter would have given Holloway’s team lots to dissect. 

“Our strategy is gonna change a bit for the second fight,” Bareman said. “It has to. We have an obligation to change a few things because he’s seen what we did in the first fight. But we’re changing strategy; we don’t have to change the way that Alex [fights]. We don’t have to change anything fundamentally with Alex. What they’ve got to do is change some of the fundamental things that Max does. That’s gonna take years.

“If they do try to change it, then more power to them, but that’s gonna work to our advantage. What we’re changing is just strategy. We don’t have to change the way he stands. We don’t have to change the way he steps over. We just have to adapt it slightly differently so that it’s not so predictable. I think from a coaching point of view, I think we’ve got a much easier job than what they have to do.”

Do you agree with Eugene Bareman? Do you think UFC 251 has come around too quickly for Max Holloway to make the necessary changes to find a way to beat Alexander Volkanovski the second time around?

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