Max Holloway wants to get back in the cage straight away. | File photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Max Holloway hit the cage a little too amped for his own good at UFC Fight Night 34.
Though the Hawaiian would ultimately score a second-round technical knockout over Octagon debutant Will Chope, he initially struggled to find a rhythm after his fellow Hawaiians, Russell Doane and Dustin Kimura, both posted finishes in their undercard bouts.
“I came out here wanting to prove a point, and it didn’t help that my two Hawaii boys got finishes,” Holloway told UFC.com following his victory at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. “I can’t be the only guy to lose or get a decision. They’d probably ride me the rest of the trip.”
Typically the longer fighter when he steps into the cage at 145 pounds, the 5-foot-11-inch Holloway found it difficult to close the distance against 6-foot-4 Chope for much of the first frame.
“He was hitting me with shots where I thought I was out of the way, but the was hitting me clean,” Holloway said at the post-fight presser. “He kind of hurt me in the first round. It was super weird fighting such a tall guy.”
Holloway eventually settled down and found his range, however, calming his emotions before turning the tide to end round one.
“I was trying to rush things, and I was getting frustrated. [My corner] told me to calm down, and at the end of the first round, we hurt him,” Holloway told UFC.com. “I found my distance, and in the second round, I knew he kind of didn’t want to fight anymore. He was being less offensive, so it felt good to get the finish.”
With his opponent no longer able to keep Holloway at bay, “Blessed” jumped on the offensive, cracking his man with a wicked spinning back kick before burying him under a barrage of punches to force the second-round stoppage.
“Whatever the UFC wants, [I’ll do]. Two weeks from now -- let’s do it. I’m always ready to fight. People always say they’re fighters, but I prove it,” said Holloway. “I want to go back to the drawing board and keep getting better. This sport is all about getting better. If you stay the same, you get left behind.”