Max Holloway demolished Calvin Kattar in the first UFC main event of the year. The former featherweight champ posted one of his best fights ever, annihilating the opponent and scoring a unanimous-decision victory.
Before the fight, many wondered how Holloway would perform following two losses in a row to the new champion Alexander Volkanovski. Still, as soon as the battle began, it was obvious that the Blessed regained his mojo.
In the end, the judges scored 50-43, 50-43, 50-42 for Holloway (22-6 MMA, 18-6 UFC), who received the highest possible credit after the fight ended. His opponent’s words will tell you everything.
“If you ain’t a Max Holloway fan, you’re a hater,” Kattar (22-5 MMA, 6-3 UFC) said. “Kid’s a beast. Did what he had to do. Good luck to him, and hopefully the champ next, because he deserves another shot.”
Throughout the entire fight, Max was showcasing why many consider him the best-ever featherweight fighter and the guy with the most diverse striking combos. He would set numerous records, the most important the number of significant strikes, 445, raising the bar for more than 60% of the previous record (290).
Kattar began the fight aggressively, but all that vanished as soon as Holloway began throwing his usual combinations, and at the end of the first, it was pretty much obvious that 29-year old will dominate during the event.
He was already in beast mode throughout the second, with Kattar having massive problems finding his way around the octagon. Just a few fighters could endure what he did in the fourth round, as Holloway ferociously beat him in all sorts of way.
Holloway showed great respect for Kattar when the fight ended, giving him credit for that fourth round, saying that his rival withstood the unthinkable.
“He took everything — the kitchen sink, a fire truck, an ambulance. I threw everything at him,” Max said. “I probably threw my mouthpiece at him at one point in there.”
He would add after the fight that if something happens with either Dustin Poirier or Conor McGregor, the two guys who are headlining the next event, he will be at UFC’s disposal. The American extended his stay in Abu Dhabi for another week, just in case something jumps out.
Dana White refused such an idea, commenting that the Blessed should go home and take some rest.
Regarding Holloway’s plans for the future, one thing is certain after this match, and that is his contention for another fight with Alexander Volkanovski. White confirmed that telling the reporters that the Australian has to give one more try to Holloway after a fantastic performance like this one.
However, the Blessed needs to wait for his turn now, as Volkanovski already has a challenger at the moment. Brian Ortega got his shot at the title at the UFC 260 in March. The bout between these two has been confirmed recently, which could spoil Holloway’s plans.
We’ll see what the former champ decides; either he awaits the winner of that event and makes a pause for at least five months, or books some fight in the meantime to stay in shape.
As for Kattar, this is his third defeat since coming to the UFC. He would win two in a row, showing solid improvement, yet not enough to challenge one of the best in the division and become the elite featherweight.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.