On Saturday night at UFC 206 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Max Holloway (17-3 MMA, 13-3 UFC) was finally given the chance to fight for UFC gold and made the most of the opportunity as he secured a TKO victory over Anthony Pettis (19-6 MMA, 6-5 UFC) to become the interim featherweight champion. This win has set up a future title unification bout with Jose Aldo and increased Holloway’s UFC winning streak to 10 consecutive fights.
In only his second fight at 145lbs Pettis failed to make weight on Friday meaning he could no longer win the title even if he had managed to claim victory on Saturday. This seemingly made no difference to Holloway who dispatched of the former UFC lightweight champion 4:50 seconds into the third round. As the fight began Pettis showed little effects of what was a tough weight cut pressing forward whilst landing a number of kicks to the legs and torso of his opponent. After the opening couple of minutes the Hawaiian began to find his range landing multiple straight punches to the face of Pettis which left him with a cut under his right eye.
As the fighters went back to their corners Pettis told his head coach Duke Roufus that he thought he had broken his right hand. With one of his biggest weapons neutralised Pettis looked to focus his energy on kicking in the second round which proved unsuccessful, as Holloway began to dictate the fight attacking his opponent’s body before knocking him to the mat as he connected with another right hand.
Entering the third round the 25 year old Hawaiian native was in complete control of the fight and the extent of damage dealt to Pettis’ eye became clear. Holloway continued to rip into the body of Pettis as he tried to take advantage of “Showtimes” tough weight cut. Taking a leaf out his opponent’s book ‘Blessed’ landed a body kick which sent the former lightweight champion into retreat. After noticeably hurting his opponent Holloway went in for the kill closing the distance before opening up with a rapid flurry of strikes which saw Pettis crumble to the canvas leaving referee Yves Levigne no choice but to intervene.
Moments after being declared the new interim feathweight champion Holloway turned his attention to Jose Aldo. “We couldn’t find Aldo so I thought I’d call him Waldo — Jose Waldo. Tell him meet me in Brooklyn in February, Let’s get the ****** real one. This is my ticket to Jose Aldo,” he yelled. “Let me know when you guys find him. I’ll be waiting.”
UFC 209 takes place in Brooklyn, which is currently scheduled for Feb. 11 in Brooklyn, NY. After months of talk about wanting to step in the ring with the Brazilian Jose Aldo looks certain to be the next opponent in line for Holloway now that he has claimed that all important interim title.