Max Holloway finished Antony Pettis with a barrage of brutal body strikes, as he claimed the interim featherweight title on Saturday at The Air Canada Centre.
Holloway is now riding a ten-fight win streak after becoming the UFC interim featherweight champion. He defeated former UFC lightweight champion, Antony Pettis, in a mind-blowing main event at UFC 206.
Pettis, who weighed in at 148lbs for Saturdays bout with Holloway was ineligible to obtain the belt as he missed the 145lbs limit. After the fight, Pettis explained that: “I was dying from the weight cut”. And later said he would be moving back to fight at 155lbs.
On the other hand, Holloway had the quiet confidence of a champion as he looked to overcome one of his toughest opponents yet, because in Antony’s four years inside the Octagon, he has never been finished.
The bout began, and Pettis looked to be in his element. He started by sending some of those stylish kicks that ultimately earned him the nickname, “Showtime”. Yet, Holloway’s impeccable movement allowed him to move right out of range, just enough so that he could return with a set of critical counter-strikes which resulted in a cut below the right eye of Pettis.
At the end of that round, Pettis appeared to be in some discomfort. He walked back to his corner shaking his right hand, and replays showed that he told his team: “I’ve broken my hand”.
into the second round, and Holloway landed a big shot early on that snuck through the guard of Pettis and saw the American drop to the canvas. After that knockdown Pettis began to apply more pressure to Holloway, but Max was just too good with his movement and could neutralise any threat Pettis had to offer. Pettis tried to negate the movement of Holloway by effectively throwing front kicks to the body. This opened the opportunity for the clinch and Pettis looked for the takedown towards the end of the second round.
Pettis began the third round with some very kick heavy attacks, which were most likely due to his possible broken hand. Holloway returned with a sweep that was perfectly executed as he took Pettis to the ground. Even In the clinch Pettis was unable to obtain a dominant position against Holloway, thus Holloway secured a second sweep with ease.
As the round looked to be over, Holloway battered Pettis with some body kicks of his own. After three clean connections Pettis was in trouble. And Holloway knew it. He piled on the pressure whilst Pettis was slouched against the cage, after some big shots landed, the referee had no choice but to stop the fight.
Just like that.
After his win, he wasted no time calling out the current featherweight champion, Jose Aldo. “Meet me in Brooklyn,” Holloway shouted, referring to February’s UFC 208 card at Barclays Centre. “Let’s get the real one.”
The pair are now due to meet early 2017 to fight for the undisputed UFC featherweight title.
Written by Toby Clarke.