Ufc Fight Night: Max Holloway Beats Yair Rodriguez

The standard pondering is {that a} fighter who has been defeated twice by the champion in his or her weight class is caught in limbo, by no means to get a 3rd glimpse of the belt until it is being worn by a special champion.

That mind-set does open up alternatives for brand new title challengers and produce contemporary matchups in championship fights. But that mind-set mustn’t apply to Max Holloway.

When Holloway defeated Yair Rodriguez by unanimous determination in the principle occasion of UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Las Vegas, that made it two straight victories over top-five featherweights. Just as champion Alexander Volkanovski is doing his half to scrub out the division, so is the previous champ.

Max Holloway tried a standing guillotine within the fourth spherical in opposition to Yair Rodriguez. Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Holloway has clearly established himself because the second-best 145-pound fighter within the UFC — until you take into account him the best possible. Many do imagine that Holloway received the second battle in opposition to Volkanovski, although the official end result was a split-decision victory for the present champ (Watch this battle on ESPN+). But even in the event you do settle for the opinions of the 2 judges who scored that 2020 rematch for Volkanovski, you merely can not deny {that a} third assembly with Holloway can be the perfect title battle for the UFC’s featherweight division.

Who else is there to problem Volkanovski? Brian Ortega had his shot lower than two months in the past. Chan Sung Jung has received three of his previous 4 fights, however he misplaced to Ortega simply final yr. Calvin Kattar misplaced to Holloway in January. Those three proper there, plus Holloway and Rodriguez, make up your high 5.

The solely cause to not e book a 3rd assembly between Volkanovski and Holloway can be if the UFC believed Holloway’s 0-2 file up to now would make a trilogy battle a tricky promote to followers. I really feel fairly strongly that that will not be the case. On the opposite, no different matchup at 145 kilos would generate the identical anticipation and pleasure among the many fan base.

Max Holloway

Of course, Holloway has different choices. After he’d had his hand raised on the finish of Saturday’s brutal battle and was being interviewed contained in the Octagon, the subject of Holloway’s future got here up. He did not demand a title shot. Holloway did point out Volkanovski, however he additionally talked about the light-weight division and introduced up the potential of a rematch with Conor McGregor, who defeated him in 2013.

“To be the best, you gotta beat the best. And the best is ‘Blessed,'” Holloway stated, referencing his nickname. “They can come after me. Let’s get it.”

That may need been Holloway’s solely misstep of the evening. He sounded resigned to what the UFC desires to provide him. But these phrases got here simply moments after he had fought like a person nonetheless chasing a championship.

So did Rodriguez, by the way in which. Fighting for the primary time in over two years, the Mexican stood as much as Holloway for 5 rounds, delivering and absorbing injury, and remaining harmful till the ultimate horn. Previously identified greatest for the flashiness of his highlight-reel assaults, Rodriguez did extra to determine himself as a high featherweight on this loss than he did in any of his UFC victories.

But he couldn’t deal with Holloway, who confirmed that at age 29 and in his twenty ninth skilled battle, he nonetheless has what it takes to be a champion. Holloway is deserving of one other shot at reclaiming the belt that was as soon as his. Max Holloway was victorious over Yair Rodriguez at UFC Fight Night 197 on the Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon.

The featherweight bout between Holloway and Rodriguez was the principle occasion of card, which was streamed on ESPN+. The judges scored the battle 49-46, 48-47, 48-47 in favor of Holloway.

A bloodied and swollen Max Holloway outlasted Yair Rodriguez in a featherweight slugfest Saturday, taking the bout by unanimous determination at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.

Rodriguez’s battered face additionally instructed the story of the epic primary occasion, received by Holloway 49-46, 48-47, 48-47.

Holloway held on within the fifth regardless of an elbow that opened a lower.

“If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best — and the best is ‘Blessed,’ baby,” Holloway stated.

The pair mixed to land 389 vital strikes, the third most in a single battle in UFC historical past, in keeping with ESPN. Holloway landed 251 complete strikes to Rodriguez’s 186.

“Max is an amazing fighter,” Rodriguez stated. “He has a lot of experience. He’s done an amazing job. I have nothing to do but accept (the loss).”

The duo earned plaudits from UFC president Dana White, too.

“Insane,” White stated. “It was one of the best fights I’ve ever seen.”

In the lead-up battle, Marcos Rogerio de Lima defeated Ben Rothwell by TKO 32 seconds into the primary spherical of their heavyweight bout. Rogerio de Lima improved to 19-8-1.

Saturday’s different winners included Felicia Spencer, Khaos Williams and Song Yadong.



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