LONG POST ALERT| Last night, we were treated to the healthy and successful return of Max Holloway! In a sure candidate for fight of the year, he stopped Brian Ortega by fourth round TKO ( I picked Ortega to win). Mid-fight, Joe Rogan starts talking about Holloway being the greatest featherweight fighter of all time. I love Joe Rogan! On this evening, though, I’m not sure if he drank too much CBD oil or accidentally ate the wrong part of the mushroom; or perhaps he is reading a script intended to generate buzz for McGregor/Holloway 2 🤷🏽♂️
Nevertheless, the statement either overlooks the significance of Jose Aldo’s “most featherweight KOs in UFC/WEC” with 10 title fights, (6 UFC title defenses); or it misses the mark on the head-to-head statistic.
With only two title defenses and his last loss coming to the previous champ, Conor Mcgregor (who vacated), Holloway is neither the most prolific champion nor the most proven head-to-head.
I’m a Holloway fan because I’m a fight fan and who doesn’t like Holloway’s style?! But the argument of “Man, he has gotten so much better since the Mcgregor fight” falls flat. Guess who else got better. “But he beat Aldo!” After Mcgregor did it.
Here’s my thought: Maybe the UFC treats us all to a part 2. Maybe the fight goes different. Maybe it doesn’t. But until then, just enjoy Holloway for the elite fighter he is and stop throwing around evaluative and subjective terms like GOAT... Mcgregor may never fight another featherweight fight again, but let’s not throw shade over how prolific and fast his tear through the division was. It happened like a flash, which is one of the things that made it special. It is his achievements during this time that positioned him to be a superstar, capture the lightweight title (without a previous UFC lightweight fight), and smooth talk his way into one of the richest prizefights in history.
Aldo was great. But the excitement Mcgregor brought to the division blazed a trail for guys like Max Holloway and Brian Ortega to have an audience. There is a reason that when you watch them fight you wonder if they could beat Conor. It’s because he’s still the measuring stick - @mikeleemusic