Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight champion, Conor McGregor, who also held gold at 155 pounds, is the last man to defeat current 145-pound kingpin, Max Holloway, thanks to a unanimous decision win at UFC Fight Night 26 over five years back.
A lot has changed between then and now.
McGregor went on to snatch the division title from Jose Aldo at UFC 194, but never returned to the featherweight class. Instead, he split a pair of fights against Nate Diaz at welterweight, then moved back down to lightweight at UFC 205, planishing Eddie Alvarez to capture the crown.
Then came a boxing loss to Floyd Mayweather, followed by a submission defeat to Khabib Nurmagomedov (and the shenanigans that came with it).
As for Holloway, he stayed put and racked up a staggering 13 wins with 10 finishes, which includes last December’s title defense against Brian Ortega (replay). “Blessed” has looked so good, in fact, that renowned combat sports coach, Firas Zahabi, picks the Hawaiian to win a “Notorious” rematch.
“If I had to pick Max Holloway vs. McGregor today, I would pick Max Holloway,” Zahabi told fans (via Bloody Elbow). “I think Holloway has grown leaps and bounds since then. In my opinion, Holloway would outpunch him, outwork him. He would do very much what Diaz did, but more. I think McGregor got away with a lot of stuff, like the leg kicks against Diaz, but I don’t think he’ll have that against Holloway.”
McGregor has four losses in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career — two of them under the UFC banner — and all four of them have come by way of submission (despite this claim), including the upset to Diaz at UFC 196 back in early 2016.
“Holloway has the same type of output as Diaz, the same kind of chin as Diaz. He’s more athletic than Diaz, he has more variety in his attacks, he has more kicking, kneeing and elbowing, and his chin is just phenomenal,” Zahabi continued. “I think the blueprint for beating McGregor is more well understood by the roster. I really think Holloway now is in his prime, and it’s going to be very, very difficult to beat him.”
This guy doesn’t seem to think so.