Before Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight champion Max Holloway moves up to Lightweight to face off against Dustin Poirier for the interim title at UFC 236 this Saturday night (April 13, 2019), take a trip down memory lane to just a few short months ago to see “Blessed” defeat Brian Ortega at UFC 231.
2018 started as a pretty tough year for Holloway, as “Blessed” was forced out of his title fight against Frankie Edgar at UFC 222 due to a leg injury. A few months later, he was set to face off against Khabib Nurmagomedov in an impromptu Lightweight title fight, but it ultimately went up in smoke due to the drastic weight cut for Max on short notice.
Three months after that, the Hawaiian-born champion was set to defend his 145-pound belt against Brian Ortega at UFC 226, but he was pulled from the fight due to concussion-like symptoms. Finally, in December Max was given the green light to compete as he faced Ortega in the headlining bout of UFC 231, a year removed from his last fight.
And it didn’t take long for “Blessed” to remind everyone that despite his slue of setbacks in the previous months, he hadn’t lost a step and was still one of the best fighters in the game today. For 20 minutes, “Blessed” poured it on Brian — who was fighting for his first-ever UFC title — using his standup as his primary weapon to bust up Ortega’s face.
Though it was a gutsy performance by “T-City,” Holloway showed once again that he is currently on another level at this point in his career and his time truly is now, winning “Fight of the Night” and “Performance of the Night” honors after doctor’s refused to let Brian answer the bell for the final round, all while setting a record for most significant strikes in a fight.
Now, Max will look to become UFC’s latest champ-champ by trying to exact some revenge on Poirier, the man who spoiled his Octagon debut way back in 2012 a UFC 143 (see that fight here).
To see who else is competing at UFC 236: “Holloway vs Poirier 2” in Atlanta, GA., click here.