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Midnight Mania! Max Holloway will not spar ahead of Calvin Kattar fight

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UFC 251: Volkanovski v Holloway Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Max Holloway is on the shortlist of Featherweight greatest of all time contenders, and many believe he deserves to be the current 145-pound kingpin after his controversial second battle with Alexander Volkanovski. To sum it up, “Blessed” is an incredible fighter, so there has to be something to his training methods.

Ahead of that second match with Volkanovski, Holloway made headlines by admitting that most of his training camp took place via Zoom due to Hawaii’s lockdown orders. Despite that apparent handicap, he performed incredibly in the rematch. In fact, Holloway was happy enough with his performance that he intends to drop sparring from his training regiment.

“I really loved how the last camp I didn’t spar,” Holloway told ESPN (transcription via TheBodyLockMMA). “It opened my eyes. I get injured sparring a lot before fights and I felt great going inside that fight without sparring.

“… Sparring is like an ego trip. I understand you got to do something but you can figure out different ways to move and get it done. … During the whole training camp, it helped a lot to actually put our priorities straight. I got to take out some things, I got to add a little more things. It was just changing up the recipe and the last one, I thought went pretty well and we’re kind of sticking to it and we’ll see how this one goes.”

Additionally, Holloway pointed to long term health consequences as a reason to stop sparring. When asked if he is sparring ahead of his Jan. 16 bout with Calvin Kattar, Holloway explained “No, saving the brain. I want to be a guy who, third grade math is already hard, so I can only imagine if I was getting punched in the head and trying to help Mini Blessed.”

It’s something of a conundrum. Holloway can indeed save himself some head trauma by avoiding rounds in the gym, but if he’s anything less than razor sharp opposite a dangerous puncher like Kattar, “Boston Finisher” will repay him that damage with interest.


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