Current featherweight champion and number four ranked pound-for-pound fighter Max Holloway successfully defended his title in a rematch against former champion Jose Aldo at UFC 218, in which he would go to TKO the former champion at 4:51 in round three now giving him 12 straight wins since his loss to former featherweight champion and current lightweight champion Conor McGregor.
Speaking of Conor McGregor, fans have already spoken on who they would love to see Max Holloway face next. Though some might argue that other featherweights are more deserving of the next fight against Holloway; like Frankie Edgar, the winner of the Cub Swanson vs. Brian Ortega fight, and much more, but since the UFC is not only about making great fights it’s also about making some big money and a rematch between Holloway and McGregor is indeed big money for the company.
Now, this fight might not appear to be a great matchup as in their first encounter McGregor would go to dominate Holloway by scoring 53 strikes over 23 and landing four successful takedowns leading him to take the fight to a unanimous decision victory (30-27, 30-27, 30-26). The numbers now begin to show this looks more to be a one-sided beating rather than a fight. But we must remember this fight took place in 2013 when Holloway had just begun his career in the UFC as he headed into this fight with five fights in the company and a record of 3-2 leading up to this fight.
Now that it’s four years later Holloway has compiled a record of 15-3 and a 19-3 overall and like stated before he has remained undefeated since his loss to McGregor where McGregor has seen a loss against Nate Diaz at UFC 196 thus ending his undefeated streak of 7-0 in the UFC. However, he would go on to avenge his loss to Nate Diaz in a majority decision victory (48-47, 47-47, 48-47) at UFC 202 and become the first fighter to hold two titles in different weight classes at the same time when he would defeat Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205 via TKO to win the lightweight title leading him to a 9-1 in the UFC and 21-3 overall.
Now that we see the numbers they both are relatively close to their current records and have shown great improvement from their first encounter four years ago. With that in mind, it now looks as if this rematch makes perfect sense not only because it would be a big seller, but it could be another war in the making to show the world why these two are the best at what they do.
In the stand-up game, they both are well equipped with boxing so their striking techniques are on spot and have helped them rise to the top and become current champions so the full on striking style of the fight would be something intense to watch go down.
Then there are the ground techniques where McGregor has a little jiu-jitsu and wrestling, but really never uses them or bothers to learn more on how to be successful with either of the styles, where Holloway is well-equipped with jiu-jitsu that has helped him become both aggressive on his feet and the ground making him one of the most dominant fighters in the sport. That being said, it appears that Holloway’s chances of evening the score is much greater this time around as he has shown major improvement in his jiu-jitsu along with his striking where he has managed to score 80, 90, or even 100 plus strikes in his fights making him much more deadly than the Holloway we saw four years ago.
But let’s not forget how much McGregor has improved in his ground game defense since facing Chad Mendes and Nate Diaz, which now makes him much harder to bring to the ground as he knows very well every opponent he faces will try to bring him to the ground where he is weakest. Now it begins to appear like the fight will end the same way it did the first time or maybe much worse since McGregor’s striking is just on-spot and possibly considered some of the best in the sport.
However, Holloway has shown the world he can box as well as he destroyed fighters like Anthony Pettis, Cub Swanson, and Jose Aldo with the speed and power his strikes contain revealing he is no fighter to take likely and that is just one more big reason why this possible rematch could happen sometime in the near future.
Though before it does, I think we all really would like to see Holloway clean more of the featherweight division and also for McGregor to at least defend his belt a few times before this rematch can even be considered to take place. I mean, the more fights they get to improve their game the better the rematch will be as they will have time to prepare and fix their mistakes to put on the best performance of their careers and give the fans the fight they have been waiting to see.