Monster Energy’s featherweight champion Max “Blessed” Holloway retained his title with his second straight third-round TKO over Jose Aldo at UFC 218 inside Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. The two warrior’s first met in June at UFC 212 in Brazil when Holloway won the undisputed featherweight title with a convincing victory over Aldo, who had ruled the division for nearly a decade.
In a statement performance the ruthless Hawaiian administered another stunning beat down to Aldo before the referee finally stopped the fight at 4:15 marking Holloway’s 12th consecutive victory and first title defense.
Aldo stepped in on short notice after Frankie Edgar who was the original opponent for this card pulled out because of an injury. The Brazilian legend started round one strong with his signature kicks mixed in with a heavy left hook, but in the end couldn’t match Holloway’s frenetic pace, rangy technical striking and superb defense, staying just outside the former champs reach.
“At the end of the day, it is what it is,” said Holloway. “All due respect, Aldo is a hell of a champion, but I told you the ‘Blessed Era’ is something new."
The rising stars claims of beginning a new era were certainly substantiated in the Octagon by turning away the two-time former champ, even though the Brazilian landed some solid shots and ramped up his signature leading leg attack on the Hawaiian. Holloway’s kept calm and consistent, landing straight stiff jabs, text-book defense and appeared somewhat unimpressed if not immune to Aldo’s leg attacks as waded forward, pushing Aldo into deeper and deeper water as he struggled to keep pace breathing heavily out of his mouth.
By the third round Aldo was fading, and Holloway’s cadence was to high as he walked him down with a relentless forward attack and bottomless cardio. About halfway through the round, the young Hawaiian bated Aldo into a brawl and systemically broke him down, raining down a barrage of strikes from every angle as he backed Aldo against the Octagon. As Aldo wilted under the pressure, he instinctually grappled for a takedown and ended up on the bottom where Holloway mercilessly dropped rights and lefts upon Aldo’s bloodied face until the referee called it off.
What’s up next for Holloway (19-3) – maybe a fight with Edgar, or possible redemption from his last loss against Conor McGregor at UFC Fight Night 26 in 2013.