The UFC’s newly-crowned featherweight champion has issued a truly beautiful statement to the man he defeated at last weekend’s UFC 212.
Combat sports is a violent game where emotions run high and tempers frequently flare but the thing that separates this competitive and heavily regulated world from the more barbaric and unsanctioned violence that occurs on the streets is the truly commendable respect that these professionals show to each other when the final bell rings, win, lose or draw.
Last weekend saw the highly-touted 25-year-old Max Holloway reach his full potential when he broke down the longtime former-champion and all-round icon José Aldo in their UFC 212 main event meeting in Brazil.
Holloway, who was riding a ten-fight win streak coming into this bout, used a clever gameplan and impeccable striking to dissect the hometown champion and after three exhilarating rounds of action, was able to do what only one man had been able to do in ten years as he finished Aldo.
Holloway’s attitude was in full swing on the night, taunting his legendary foe throughout, something that, of course, did nothing in helping him win over the incredibly hostile Rio de Janeiro crowd but despite this, the respect that was seen between both men when all was said and done was evidence of the fleeting nature of such shows of apparent disrespect in the heat of battle.
Now, with us a few days removed from their thrilling encounter, Max Holloway has taken to his official Instagram page to offer some words of support for the now-former champ and the way that he went about that doing that is nothing short of admirable.
View this post on Instagram
Losing is part of this fight game. Saturday night takes nothing away from his legacy. This is a guy who would show up to his gym sometimes without eating in the last day because he was so damn poor. This is a guy who built the 45 division and became king. This is a guy who found motivation to keep earning what he already had. He defended his throne. For a decade. For honor. For his team. For his countrymen. This is a guy who didn't start at pole position in this world and look at what he achieved. Brazil needs to celebrate that man. Acai with powered milk and cashews for everyone. He's a GOAT, and his story will always be an inspiration to me and people of Hawaii. Obrigado, Ze @josealdojunioroficial Obrigado.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena