Max Holloway


Nearly regains UFC gold
July 11, 2020
Holloway came up just short in his quest to regain the UFC Featherweight Championship on Saturday, falling to Alexander Volkanovski via split decision (47-48, 48-47, 47-48) at UFC 251 in Abu Dhabi.
This was one of those fights that you could watch back a half dozen times and score it for each man on three different occasions. It was that close. Holloway seemed well on his way to regaining his belt after scoring a knockdown in the dying seconds in each of the first two rounds. He looked calm and composed while controlling the center of the Octagon. Round 5 clearly went to Volkanovski, while the middle frames were open to interpretation. Max again struggled with the leg kicks of the champion, but he did a much better job of not allowing Volkanovski to get in tight and land consistent combinations. He did allow at least one successful takedown in each of the final two rounds. Overall, it was a much better effort from Holloway, as he looked extremely fluid on the feet. Many people will have scored this fight for "Blessed", but the result was by no means a robbery. It's pretty clear that Holloway and Volkanovski are the two best featherweights on the planet right now but Max will probably have to win another couple fights against top-tier competition before being inserted back into the title picture. The odds that these two men meet again at some point down the road are overwhelming.
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Draws rematch for UFC 251
June 9, 2020
Holloway's rematch with Alexander Volkanovski for the UFC Featherweight Championship is set for UFC 251 on July 11 at Yas Island in Abu Dhabi, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
Holloway will get his chance at redemption after losing to Volkanovski in a unanimous decision back in December, which cost him his featherweight belt. One of the highest-volume strikers in UFC featherweight history, Holloway landed 134 significant strikes in that matchup, though Volkanovski bested him with a mark of 157. The difference in this fight could have very well been leg kicks, as Volkanovski outlanded Holloway on significant leg strikes 75 to 17. Expect this to be another high-volume, five-round striking affair, which bodes well for both sides of the fight from a fantasy perspective. Holloway closed as roughly a (-200) betting favorite for the original matchup, but the tables have turned given that outcome, as he's now roughly a (+175) betting underdog.
Getting title rematch
May 11, 2020
Holloway is targeted for a rematch against Alexander Volkanovski for the UFC Featherweight Championship, Guilherme Cruz of reports.
Holloway lost the featherweight title to Volkanovski via unanimous decision, but he's now first in line to get a crack at the retaking the belt. A date for the pending rematch has yet to be scheduled, however, and travel restrictions could tentatively cause issues for Holloway's attempt to enter the United States in the immediate future.
Long reign at 145 pounds ends
December 14, 2019
Holloway finally dropped the UFC Featherweight Championship on Saturday, falling to Alexander Volkanovski via unanimous decision (47-48, 47-48, 45-50) at UFC 245 in Las Vegas.
It's Holloway's first loss at 145 pounds since August 17, 2013. That setback came against Conor McGregor. Facing an opponent who made a concerted, repeated effort to target his legs, Max spent the vast majority of the fight switching stances. His inability to push off his front leg limited both his movement and his ability to explode with combinations. Holloway's cardio was on point -- as usual -- and he displayed his trademark toughness throughout the course of the bout, but he was very clearly hampered by fighting on essentially one leg. Max probably deserves an immediate rematch given his recent run of success, but the featherweight division is very, very deep and the UFC seems to be moving away from immediate rematches unless the first bout ends in some type of controversial fashion. That wasn't the case today as Holloway clearly lost. Max, who turned just 28 years of age earlier this month, will be back in short order.
Title defense against Volkanovski booked
September 21, 2019
Holloway will defend his featherweight title against Alex Volkanovski at UFC 245 in Las Vegas on Dec. 14, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
Holloway has an unblemished record in his last 14 fights at featherweight, with the lone defeat coming against Dustin Poirier when Holloway moved up a weight class. He quickly got back on the winning track with a one-sided victory over Frankie Edgar in July -- a fight where he led the significant striking battle 129 to 96. He'll now be booked for his fourth fight of 2019, taking on a contender in Volkanovski that is a spotless 7-0 under the UFC banner. Holloway will enter this fight five inches taller, but it will be Volkanovski that boasts a two-inch reach advantage. Few can match Holloway's illustrious offensive volume of 6.78 significant strikes landed per minutes, though Volkanovski is closer than most, owning a mark of 6.11. The difference with Volkanovski is that he's able to incorporate more wrestling in his game, but few have been able to seriously threaten Holloway with takedowns in the past, as the champ owns an elite takedown defense mark of 84 percent. Expect Holloway to enter as the betting favorite.
Surgical in defense of FW strap
July 27, 2019
Holloway defeated Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 48-47) at UFC 240 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada on Saturday.
Holloway showed no signs of dropping off after taking a loss to Dustin Poirier at lightweight in April, as he showcased his laser-like jab and his ability to slide back and counter for the majority of the night. This fight was made interesting by the fact that both fighters like to be the one to get in your face and throw shots, but Holloway was comfortable playing the matador for this one while defending all but one of Edgar's 15 takedown attempts. The only question now appears to be what comes next, with the likely answer being a date with top contender Alexander Volkanovski at featherweight. However, now that he has shown the desire to move between weight classes, Holloway's future becomes a bit more uncertain. He moves to 21-4 in professional MMA as a result of the win.