Max Holloway had a point to prove heading into his UFC on ABC headliner against Calvin Kattar after losing back-to-back fights to featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski.
Holloway showed from the opening bell why he's quite arguably the greatest feathweight of all time as the former titleholder demolished Kattar for 25 minutes to win by unanimous decision (50-42, 50-43, 50-43) from Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. DAZN News scored the fight 50-43 for Holloway.
Usually, Holloway likes to take his time and gauge what his opponent is doing. Not this time around. Holloway came right out, started throwing, and didn't stop. And Holloway didn't stick to one thing. He mixed it up by throwing kicks, punches, and elbows in all different directions and various speed levels. Holloway nearly put Kattar out more than one occasion in the fight.
With blood pouring down Kattar and three seconds left to go in the second round, Holloway wobbled the Boston native badly with a head kick. A couple of more seconds and it would have likely been over.
Then, during the fourth round, Holloway landed a sharp right elbow that stunned Kattar, and it appeared to be the beginning of the end. Holloway sensed that and unloaded a barrage of elbows and punches. Kattar looked to be out on his feet with blood gushing out of his forehead. He showed a ton of heart by absorbing the onslaught and surviving the round.
The fight should have been stopped after the round. Instead, Kattar's corner and referee Herb Dean inexplicably let him continue. Holloway didn't take his foot off the pedal. He kept pounding Kattar into oblivion. It got embarrassing to the point that Holloway landed six punches while talking to the commentary team.
With the win, Holloway earns another opportunity at the belt against the victor of the expected fight between Volkanovski and Brian Ortega at UFC 260. But in the meantime, Holloway said he plans to stay in Abu Dhabi and see if anything happens to Conor McGregor or Dustin Poirier, as they fight next Saturday at UFC 257. If either one gets hurt or sick, Holloway told UFC president Dana White that he'd be ready.
Here is what happened on UFC on ABC: Holloway vs. Kattar.
UFC on ABC: Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar live results
UFC on ABC: Holloway vs. Kattar fight card
- Max Holloway def. Calvin Kattar by unanimous decision (50-42, 50-43, 50-43); Featherweight
- Carlos Condit def. Matt Brown via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27); Welterweight
- Li Jingliang def. Santiago Ponzinibbio by second-round TKO (punches); Welterweight
- Alessio Di Chirico def. Joaquin Buckley via first-round TKO (punches); Middleweight
- Punahele Soriano def. Dusko Todorovic by first-round TKO (punches); Middleweight
- Joselyne Edwards def. Wu Yanan via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Carlos Felipe def. Justin Tafa by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Ramazan Emeev def. David Zawada via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Vanessa Melo def. Sarah Moras by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Austin Lingo def. Jacob Kilburn via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 30-27)