Max Holloway rose to the occasion last night (Sat., June 3, 2017) at UFC 212 live on pay-per-view (PPV) from inside the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, when he starched featherweight legend Jose Aldo with a third-round knockout (highlights here). The Hawaiian struggled in the early going to find his groove, but Holloway absolutely clobbered Aldo when he started to land in the second. With his biggest UFC win in the books and his 11-fight win streak in tact, the future looks incredibly bright for Holloway.
But what exactly is next for “Blessed?”
First off, Holloway will most likely have to defend his 145-pound title by the end of the year. Featherweight contenders Frankie Edgar, Cub Swanson, Ricardo Lamas, and Chan Sung Jung are all potential options heading into 2018, but Edgar will probably get the first crack at Holloway. While Aldo is the best all-around fighter the featherweight division has to offer, “The Answer” is going to pose different threats and force Holloway to evolve his game even further.
More importantly, Holloway has just begun his journey towards breaking out as a bona fide star in MMA. We are uncertain at this point as to what sort of PPV numbers UFC 212 brought in, but Holloway is only 25 years old and just decimated the greatest featherweight fighter of all time. He’s not only on the cusp of absorbing a ton of fight fans who may not have been aware of his elite skill set, but the champ is also nearing a headlining act in his home state of Hawaii. UFC has teased a Hawaiian debut in the past and will now have more incentive to do it with Holloway in control of the 145-pound division.
And even though Holloway doesn’t want to get caught up in chasing former UFC featherweight king Conor McGregor, who defeated “Blessed” via unanimous decision back in 2013, it’s yet another option moving forward. A potential rematch with “Notorious” would be Holloway’s biggest payday to date, and another opportunity for him to shock the MMA community.
Whichever path Holloway decides to conquer next, the newly crowned featherweight king will feel confident in doing so. After all, he just handed Aldo his first career loss in Brazil and claimed the 145-pound crown in a more complete fashion than McGregor did.
For complete UFC 212 results and coverage click here.