A Fighter Profile: Max Holloway
By Ross Markey
When it comes to volume striking and forward pressure, UFC featherweight champion Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway is arguably unmatched in the mixed-martial arts world. Saturday night, the Hawaiian favorite looks to achieve ‘champ champ’ status.
Running back they’re 2012 meeting, Holloway meets American Top Team striker Dustin Poirier once more, this time for the interim lightweight championship in the main event of UFC 236 in Atlanta, Georgia. Max makes his first appearance at 155 pounds this weekend, and prevailing wisdom suggests we will witness the most impressive Holloway yet, a huge feat considering his demolishing of Brian Ortega in his most recent walk.
Holloway firmly put the kibosh on health scare rumours in his second title defence, leaving then undefeated prospect and betting favourite Ortega bloodied and battered throughout before a fourth-round doctor stoppage. Displaying some of the slickest boxing and combination work we’ve seen in the last number of years, Holloway exacted a striking clinic on Ortega. Cutting angles for body shots, countering expertly and sliding just in and out of range to set up those subsequent counters, Max really made his case for the consensus best featherweight in Octagon history is that gleaming performance
Currently on an astonishing thirteen fight win streak, Holloway has only been bested by Conor McGregor, Dennis Bermudez both by decision, and upcoming opponent Poirier via triangle-armbar in his nineteen fight UFC stint, an incredible stat. In his victories over José Aldo, Holloway displayed a very good chin, taking some swinging shots from the Brazilian before finishing with ground and pound in both pairings.
Holloway’s output is significantly higher than opponent Dustin Poirier, but the Lafayette native is the harder hitting striker. Both men have some of the best swarming ability in the promotion with a tendency to finish their foe more often than not when found in a precarious situation.
It was clear in Holloway’s UFC debut the potential he had as a creative striker, with his hands truly polished now under head coach Rylan Lizares. Both men’s swarming and smothering styles are highly contrasting it has to be said. Holloway elects to stick behind his whip-like jab-straight and pick you apart, while Poirier tends to throw wild but effective hooks in pursuit of a stoppage victory.