I don’t want to be accused of jumping on a hype train….but I tipped Holloway for big things after I watched him dismantle Justin Lawrence back in 2012. It was his calmness and poise that really grabbed my attention along with his insane fight IQ at such a ridiculously young age. I remember thinking “this dude has been trained very well and he’s so young” He had a couple of hiccups early on in his UFC career losing out to Dustin Poirier in his debut and then losing 2 straight to Dennis Bermudez and Conor McGregor. I think it was these losses that really halted his hype train and shifted the spotlight away from him. I actually predicted Holloway to walk away with the victory over McGregor and it was McGregors dominating display that first convinced me he was a seriously legit fighter. Anyone who could dominate Holloway like he did had to be top draw. With the spotlight shifted and the MMA world focused on McGregor, Holloway faded into the background and carried on grinding
Fast forward 3 years and we see him entering into his first title fight (albeit an interim title) against former UFC lightweight champ Anthony Pettis. In those 3 years Holloway has been streaking, winning 9 straight fights against some of the divisions top contenders. Just stop and think about that for a second. Not many UFC fighters win 9 straight fights. Especially when you consider some of his opponents…Jeremy Stevens, Ricardo Lamas and Cub Swanson. Hardly pushovers are they.
As we are all well aware the featherweight division has been in an odd place over the last year as now former champ Conor McGregor won the belt from Jose Aldo but then elected to go up in weight and challenge in heavier divisions. Finally we seem to have some resolution as the UFC recently stripped the feather weight title from McGregor and gave it back to Aldo who has been holding the interim title since beating Frankie Edgar back in July at UFC 200…..AND BREATHE! What seems a little strange is that the fight between Pettis and Holloway is for an interim title when it doesn’t really need to be. A number 1 contention fight makes more sense as the winner will go on to face Aldo anyway. Either way, we are in for a treat. Both Pettis and Holloway tend to favour the striking game during fights and both take a very tactical approach to it. Interestingly Holloway is heading into this fight as a bookies favourite but it’s hard to count out Pettis knowing that he’s probably going to have some distance and time to execute his attacks against Holloway. Having spent the majority of this article hyping up Holloway and talking about how good he is I am going to contradict myself. I see this fight playing out similar to Pettis vs Cerrone. The winner of this fight is going to be person with the most creative and effective striking and I believe Pettis will freeze out Holloway with more powerful and creative strikes.
What are your thoughts on how Holloway VS Pettis will go?
Check out all the latest videos related to UFC 206 on our media page