UFC 276 was a tough night in the office for Max Holloway as he failed to reclaim the 145-pound title he once held and suffered a third loss by Alexander Volkanovski In the process. Holloway showed his tenacity and durability in the third fight of this trilogy against the current champion, but this contest was by far the most convincing defeat of the three.
Volkanovski was winning every round, landing the biggest strikes and rendering Holloway’s offense ineffective as heavy strikes continued to land on the Hawaiian. Now, with three losses to the defending champion, another featherweight title campaign seems unlikely. However, due to the value of the Holloway name and the ability to move up to 155 pounds, there are some new faces to challenge.
A rematch of a 2013 contest between Holloway and the superstar Conor McGregor may be the best move for the two former champions. Fans have always debated what would happen if the two met again as the two weren’t close to finished products at the time. The Irish superstar won the fight via unanimous decision using his strike and then his grappling hook in the latter parts of the contest.
Most would favor Holloway in this game due to his youth, durability, cardio and activity, especially against a McGregor who is coming off a serious injury and long layoff.
However, due to the nature of the Hawaiian’s loss to Volkanovski, fans may expect the fight to be close. The two have gone back and forth on Twitter several times and have been linked to possible fights shortly..
Raphael dos Anjos
Former lightweight champion Raphael dos Anjos was recently eliminated by a rising competitor and strike specialist Raphael Fiziev. Fiziev deserves a battle with another rising contender or a top-five contender. Dos Anjos, however, is now in a bit of a no man’s land in the standings as most of the fighters around them are mostly taking casualties.
Max Holloway would be a great option as RDA is still ranked in the top 10, but he won’t have the urgency to fight in the top five. A fight between RDA and Holloway could be one of the very few big fights in the sport that doesn’t have a belt on the line, as you would have a former Anjos-backed lightweight champion against a former featherweight champion in Holloway.
Justin Gaejthe vs. Max Holloway would be a great fight even without divisional stakes. Both men like to punch, but with their own unique style. Gaethje with his leg kicks and his precise right hand and left hook sometimes moving forward or sometimes he likes to move sideways and tries to counter his opponents with his precise and powerful right hand. This type of style can cause Holloway problems as we’ve seen him struggle with power hitters like Dustin Poirier and we also saw him being susceptible to leg kicks and counterattacks against Volkanovski.
Holloway has excellent kicking diversity while working his opponent’s body with punches, kicks and knees, and we’ve seen Gaethje struggle with those traits when he fought. Charles OliveiraDustin Poirier and Eddie Alvarez. In addition, he has a good ability to shoot and keep going.
A contest between these two is winnable for both sides and Holloway fighting a top five Justin Gaethje wouldn’t be out of the ordinary, as the UFC usually tries to match fighters with similar rankings when changing categories of weight. This fight would be a major risk for Gaejthe as he puts his top five ranking on the line, but it’s not like him and his team I never thought about this competition before.
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