It’s Max Holloway’s world. We’re all just living in it.
On Saturday night, featherweight champion Max Holloway retained his title in a barnburner of a four round battle with Brian Ortega at UFC 231 in Toronto.
The challenger Ortega put in a tremendous display of heart and resilience and proved to the world that he is still one of the best young fighters in the world, but last night in Toronto, Max Holloway was simply better and by the fourth round “T-City” had absorbed too much punishment for the doctor to allow the 145lb classic to continue.
From the off Holloway looked typically slick, no sign of any apparent ring rust, despite 371 days away from the octagon.
Holloway was landing some nice shots in the first, but Ortega kept the champion on his toes, landing a beautiful elbow off the break to remind “Blessed” that he was in for a fight.
After a mixed second round which saw him land takedowns but fail to really implement any of his famed jiu-jitsu skills against the slippery and elusive Holloway, Ortega came to life in the third rocking the champion on a number of occasions with the same heavy hands that stopped Frankie Edgar not so long ago.
The Blessed one weathered the storm though and in the fourth round, he went to work on Ortega. Punch after punch landed from Holloway as Ortega’s face wore the effects of a relentless champion determined to retain his title.
As good a 10-8 round as you’ll see, “T-City “somehow never went down under any of Holloway’s vicious shots to both the head and the body.
As the horn sounded for the end of the fourth round and with Ortega’s face a mess, the doctor judged that the challenger could no longer continue as Holloway retained his featherweight title.
“Is there anyone else? Let’s go,” said Holloway (20-3) after the fight. “He’s a tough opponent, a tough guy.”
The Hawaiian has now won 13 fights in a row since his defeat to Conor McGregor in 2013 as he continues to lay claim to being the greatest featherweight of all time.
After the fight, Holloway explained that he has his eyes on the number 1 ranking in the pound-for-pound list, and to achieve that he may have to make the step up to lightweight.
“I made the weight, I made it look easy,” Holloway said. “Dana White I want to be number one pound for pound, there’s some guys at ‘55, let’s do it.”