Max Holloway put on an absolute clinic this past weekend at the first-ever UFC on ABC event. He defeated Calvin Kattar and made it look pretty along the way. Holloway set all kinds of records in the win and turned heads doing it. The Hawaiian is still proving himself in the UFC and even though he is not the champion at this moment, he still very well could be the greatest fighter in UFC featherweight history.
There are constant arguments in MMA circles about who is the GOAT? GOAT means Greatest of All Time, not the greatest today, but of all time. So just because someone is the champion now and the best right now doesn’t make them the GOAT. Of course, this is nothing to knock the current champion Alexander Volkanovski who is very impressive in his own right. Looking at Holloway specifically he seems to be on his way to being called the greatest to have ever done it at 145 pounds.
Let’s look at his resume to this date. He came to the UFC in 2012 for just his fifth professional fight. He was set up with Dustin Poirier who is one of the best. He lost that fight and continued to work his way up to the top. He lost two more along the way to McGregor and Dennis Bermudez. He then won 13 in a row against some straight-up killers. Fighters he beat on the way to the top, just to name a few, Cub Swanson, Anthony Pettis, Charles Oliveria, Jeremy Stephens, and Ricardo Lamas. Then he got to the top, he was the interim champion and had to face another man who could have easily been called the GOAT in all MMA, Jose Aldo.
Holloway defeated Aldo not once, but twice. He took down the featherweight king two times in a row. Aldo defended the featherweight title seven times, which is more than any other man in UFC history, so if anyone should be called the GOAT it’s Jose Aldo right? Well, Holloway took out that GOAT twice. Then add on wins over Frankie Edgar and Brian Ortega for good measure. This man is on his way to greatness, if not there already. Now, the losses, yes he lost twice to Volkanovski. It seems that Volkanovski has his number, but Holloway is still getting better. His last showing alone proves this.
The stats on his last outing are something to marvel at. He set a UFC record with 445 significant strikes in the five-round fight. He scored two 50-43’s and a 50-42 in his unanimous decision victory win over Kattar. He is setting records while not holding that belt. Having lost to the defending champion twice now, getting a third shot might not be the best option at the moment, and that shouldn’t matter really. As long as Holoway keeps fighting he will be in a position near the top of the division. He will continue to fight the best that the UFC has to offer and he will keep adding points to his name in the GOAT conversation. The gold belt does not make a legend in the sport, he had the title, he might get it again, but he is one of the greatest already. At 29 years old the story is just beginning for Max Hollway. Look out Goats.