"Blessed" Era Continues as Max Holloway Retains UFC Featherweight Title

UFC fighter Max Holloway put on a masterful performance in his title fight at UFC 231 on Saturday night.

Updated: Dec. 9, 2018 • 8:07 AM ET


Max Holloway's featherweight title reign continues.

The long-awaited fight between featherweight champion Max Holloway and No. 1 contender Brian Ortega didn’t disappoint, nor did it leave any doubts about who the best featherweight in the world is. On Saturday night in the main event at UFC 231, Holloway put on a round-after-round striking clinic and defeated Ortega via doctor’s stoppage at the end of the fourth round.

Holloway once again displayed a superior striking arsenal and one of the best right hands in the fight game, punishing Ortega on the feet while out-throwing him 425 to 245 and out-landing him 219 to 86. Ortega found some rhythm at the start of the second round, but Holloway eased back and began picking apart Ortega with counter strikes that quieted the challenger’s momentum.

There was doubt about Holloway’s health heading into the fight, but he silenced all the non-believers as soon as the referee signaled the start of the first round. He was light on his feet with picture-perfect precision and fell into a groove faster than he did in his last two title fights.

Ortega showed Rocky-like heart and kept moving forward on “Blessed,” but he didn’t have a convincing answer to the champion’s world class striking.

The 27-year-old Hawaiian has now won 13 straight fights and has solidified his position as one of the top three pound-for-pound fighters in the world. The argument could be made that he is the greatest featherweight in UFC history. What’s next for the undisputed featherweight champion?

In the co-main event, Valentina Shevchenko defeated Joanna Jedrzejczyk by unanimous decision to claim the vacant women’s flyweight title. Shevchenko dominated for five rounds and cemented her position as the top flyweight in the world. She landed 43 more strikes than the challenger and took Jedrzejczyk down at will. Shevchenko has now won two straight and is 16-3 overall.



The rest of the card’s results

Gunnar Nelson def. Alex Oliveira via second-round submission (rear-naked choke)

Hakeem Dawodu def. Kyle Bochniak via split decision (30-27, 28-29, 30-27)

Thiago Santos def. Jimi Manuwa via second-round knockout

Nina Ansaroff def. Claudia Gadelha via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Gilbert Burns def. Olivier Aubin-Mercier via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Jessica Eye def. Katlyn Chookagian via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Elias Theodorou def. Eryk Anders via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Brad Katona def. Matthew Lopez unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Dhiego Lima def. Chad Laprise via first round knockout

Carlos Diego Ferreira def. Kyle Nelson via second round TKO

Aleksandar Rakić def. Devin Clark via first round TKO

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