Happy Sunday brothers. And what a happy Saturday evening it was as we were treated to another special kind of performance by one of MMA's most reliable action fighters, Max Holloway, and his courageous foe, talented Yair Rodriguez.
Contested at featherweight, a terrific battle ensued yesterday in Las Vegas where fortune's swayed, tides turned, and once again Max Holloway's star shined brightest in another important main event spot.
Holloway was as large as a -500 favorite by some odds, and I think that number was inflated given Rodriguez' strong start. The Mexican kickboxing specialist utilized deceptive movement and strong counters while Holloway appeared determined to pressure his greener adversary. By the second round it was clear: This was not the obvious match some anticipated.
The third and fourth rounds is where the former champion showed why he is still considered by many to be the best featherweight today. Holloway raised the pressure despite Rodriguez hard punches, backed Rodriguez up with hard body shots and even mixed in the occasional grappling. On my scorecard Holloway just needed to survive round five.
But that isn't what Holloway does. Max Holloway fights. And after another wonderful round of action, it was official: Holloway won via a unanimous decision that I agree with. My scorecard read 48-47 "Blessed". The toughest rounds to score were the first two. I scored rounds 1 and 5 for Yair, and 2, 3, and 4 for Max. I saw few people claiming the decision was inappropriate, and I saw no people complaining about the action. It was simply an outstanding fight.
But was Max impressed with himself?
"I was going to yell "I'm the best grappler!" (a follow up on when in his last fight vs. Calvin Katter, Max yelled "I'm the best boxer in UFC!") but I couldn't because I got reversed" Holloway amusingly told Michael Bisping in the cage after the bout. "Blessed is the best baby. Nobody wanted to fight this guy because he is dangerous. Viva Mexico!"
Who's next? Holloway has lost twice to current champion Alexander Volkanovski, a position not so different than the one Wonderboy had in 2017. It is hard to get a third fight with somebody when you've lost twice to them. "I'm on Conor McGregor's short list", Holloway said. "We'll see what happens. It's their (UFC) damn job".
That we will Max Holloway. That we will. Who would you guys like to see him fight next? McGregor would be a great match I think. But McGregor has become far less reliable than he used to be. If we want something more firm to look forward to, I'd suggest Holloway consider a Brian Ortega rematch. I believe this would guarantee a third fight between Max and Alex. What say you?
It's been a wild month for MMA and we are just halfway through it. And on a more personal note, I woke up to the discovery it has snowed here in my town. So I've got some shovelling to do. Have a great week!