UFC 231 is now available on Amazon Prime.
Max Holloway (19-3) is the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s reigning featherweight champion. It has been a difficult 2018 so far for Holloway, as he has had three fights nixed due to health issues.
On Dec. 08, he will finally get to defend his belt against Brian Ortega in the UFC 231 main event at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
In the build up to the title clash, here are five things that you might not know about the 26-year-old native of Hawaii they call “Blessed.”
He turned professional in his teens.Holloway commenced his professional mixed martial arts career on Sept. 11, 2010 at X-1 “Heroes” in his home state of Hawaii. The then 18-year-old emerged victorious after three rounds by unanimous decision. After winning his next three contests, Holloway was signed by the UFC.
He started out in kickboxing.The young Holloway was, by his own admission, a pugnacious kid who got in a lot of fights. At the age of 16, the then Waianae High School student ventured into a martial arts gym near his home. A mere three days later, he was offered a kickboxing fight that very weekend. Holloway took and won the bout. From that moment on, he set his heart on becoming a professional fighter. Two years later, the young “Blessed” was embarking on a professional MMA career. Despite being a purple belt in BJJ and a proficient wrestler, the rangy pugilist’s origins in the game are evident from his preference in engaging opponents on the feet, where he tends to dominate with his fluid, voluminous style. 9 (47 percent) of his wins have come via KO/TKO.
He was once the youngest fighter on the UFC roster.Holloway was only a few months removed from his 21st birthday when he made his UFC debut opposite the older and vastly more experienced Dustin Poirier at UFC 143 in Feb. 2012. Holloway succumbed to a 3:23 first-round mounted triangle armbar. The setback was the first of his career, and the only occasion that he has been stopped. He would go on to achieve victory in his next three bouts with the Las Vegas-based promotion.
He has the most active wins in the UFC featherweight division.Holloway has won 15 fights during his tenure with the UFC. This is remarkable when one considers that he is still only 26 years-old. His resume with the promotion is anchored by victories over Jose Aldo twice, Anthony Pettis, Ricardo Lamas and Cub Swanson. Holloway has not lost a UFC bout since he dropped a decision to Conor McGregor at UFC Fight Night 26 over five years ago in Aug. 2013. Following that loss, Holloway has gone unbeaten across 12 UFC bouts. In the process, he has won and defended the promotion’s featherweight belt and stopped 9 (75 percent) of his opponents.
He has a lengthy list of accolades.In addition to the UFC featherweight championship belt, he has numerous achievements to show for his eight-year professional MMA career. While signed with the UFC, the reigning champion has also been interim UFC featherweight champion, as well as winning Fight of the Night (x1), Knockout of the Night (x1) and Performance of the Night (x3). Prior to his UFC days, Holloway was the X-1 lightweight champion. Other accolades include being RealSport, Pundit Arena and MMAFighting 2017 Fighter of the Year.
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