There is no question about it.
Max “Blessed” Holloway (20-4) is the best UFC Featherweight Champion of all time.
His debut in the UFC with only a record of 4-0 and being at the time the youngest fighter on the UFC roster didn’t come with a warm welcome, as he was submitted via triangle armbar by the hands of another prospect coming up, Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier, who later became the former UFC Interim Lightweight Champion.
Max was welcomed to the big show, but instead of falling to the pressure of the big lights.
He bounced right back, drawing comparisons to the former UFC/WEC Lightweight Champion, Anthony Pettis.
Except, he outgrew the comparisons and became “Blessed”, he made his stamp as the best.
Holloway’s flair, his ability to find ways to land a strike in the octagon only got better as he gained experience fighting in the biggest MMA Organization in the world, the UFC. We got to watch a young man prove himself, his grit, and his fighter spirit as he continuously evolved fighting tough competition. Before we knew it he was 3-3 in the UFC, people knew he was talented, with potential to be a champion one day.
But nobody knew the tear he was about to unleash as he was gearing up to chase for the belt. From pointing down at the center of the octagon and slugging it out in the last 30 seconds against Ricardo Lamas after clearly being ahead in the scorecards, or dominating Cub Swanson to a submission finish, he knew what his goal was, as he racked up 10 victories in a row (7 of which came by KO/TKO or submission) to TKO the man they compared him to with a kick to the body and a flurry of punches, Anthony Pettis.
There, the Blessed Era came to light, as Max Holloway was crowned UFC Interim Featherweight Champion due to Conor McGregor moving up and vacating the championship.
But “Blessed” wasn’t considered best yet. In a questionable series of events, the UFC gifted Jose Aldo the belt and the title as champion despite losing to Conor McGregor and not fighting again.
Instead, the Blessed Express had to prove himself against the MMA Legend Jose Aldo not once, but twice, as he finished Aldo via TKO both times they faced in the cage.
Before the ceiling couldn’t get any higher for Holloway, he accepted a short notice fight against the undefeated mauler who is Khabib Nurmagomedov. Unfortunately, Max Holloway suffered medical issues in the events leading up to the fight and we never got to see what could have been.
Instead, Holloway took time off to evaluate his health and came back a year later to remind the fans who the Featherweight champ was, as he dominated Brian Ortega.
Holloway wasn’t finished with lightweight. He returned to make his divisional debut against the man who welcomed him to the UFC, Dustin Poirier. Again, the fight did not go his way; as this time he lost a back and forth war that led to a unanimous decision against the Pride of Hawaii, and eventually a return to featherweight.
Max’s return to his throne was greeted by none other than the Legend, former UFC Lightweight Champ Frankie Edgar, and once again he proved his naysayers wrong as his hand was raised in a unanimous decision victory.
Holloway is facing off against a different fighter, a fighter that pressures, has great striking, great wrestling, and has submission skills, Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski. Volkanovski has shown he is hungry, like when he was knocked down, got up, bit down on his mouthpiece and continued to trade leather against Chad Mendes and not only that, get the TKO victory. He has shown he can hang with the best, as he outclassed Jose Aldo to win a unanimous decision victory.
Statistically, this fight is a classic fight, as we have Holloway that consistently stays right outside of the pocket and overwhelms you with pressure and chips your stamina away with punches. Then we have Alexander, who under most fan’s radar, is a shorter fighter who likes to come forward and showcase his skill and power no matter where the fight ends up. We can argue that Holloway will still stay in the outside and counter his way in.
But the thing is, despite Alexander being 5 inches shorter than the champ, he has a slight 2.5 inch reach advantage. What people might not realize is, Alexander “The Great” Volkanovski has the skill set to be Holloway’s biggest challenge to date.
Could this be the dawn of the “Great” era?
Who You Got?
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