With Win at UFC 218, Max Holloway proves it’s his era in the featherweight division


  DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 02: UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway celebrates after defeating Jose Aldo of Brazil in his UFC featherweight championship bout during the UFC 218 event inside Little Caesars Arena on February 2 December 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Josh Hedges / Zuffa LLC / Zuffa LLC through Getty Images)

Josh Hedges / Zuffa LLC / Getty Images

In terms of pure skill and technical magic, the Friday night fight between Nicco Montano and Roxanne Modafferi was possibly the fight for the worst title in the history of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. But at least the card itself improved in the atrocious Shanghai offer of the previous weekend; that was such a terrible event that it was almost unanimously declared as one of the worst, and most insufferable, in the history of the promotion.

Fortunately, UFC 218 on Saturday in Detroit was the opposite.

In both cases.

And then some.

  DETROIT, MI - DEC 2: (LR) Francis Ngannou of Cameroon strikes Alistair Overeem of the Netherlands in his heavyweight fight during the UFC 218 event inside Little Caesars Arena on December 02, 2017 in Detroit , Michigan. (Photo by Josh Hedges / Zuffa

Josh Hedges / Zuffa LLC / Getty Images

A few hours after Yancy Medeiros defeated Alex Oliveira in one of the best fights we've ever seen, Eddie Alvarez and Justin Gaethje topped it by raising the share of violence in a TKO victory in the third round for Alvarez Ah, and Francis Ngannou sent Alistair Overeem shooting from this deadly spiral with one of the most brutal knockouts in UFC history.

Leon [19659011] @ LeonVegaSuarez [19659013] Almost called the police after Ngannou / Overeem KO.

2017-12-3 06:02:52

And then José Aldo and Max Holloway culminated a brilliant night of violence with a fight that was predictable and the official change of the featherweight guard.

Thanks to a technical knockout in the third round, Holloway retained his 145-pound title in the same way he snatched control of Aldo in the first place. : by attracting it au n sprint, rhythm – called fight that the old pound-for-pound could not major tain Not that Aldo is not a great fighter. The former champion could still be one of the best featherweight on the planet and able to beat the best the division offers on any given night.

It's just that Holloway is the future and the present. [19659018] DETROIT, MI – DEC 2: (LR) Max Holloway hits Jose Aldo of Brazil in his UFC featherweight championship fight during the UFC 218 event inside Little Caesars Arena on December 02, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Josh Hedges / Zuffa LLC / Zuffa L "data-reactid =" 190 "/>

Josh Hedges / Zuffa LLC / Getty Images

Aldo could not keep up, his characteristic leg strikes were there, He wobbled to Holloway when he landed, his firm defense and excellent defense movement of his head was there, but his gas tank did not fade quickly at the start of the third round.Holloway, a man created for those moments, stirred. One has the sensation to see Holloway doing his job that the Hawaiian does not start kicking things at a higher gear until the third round begins, Aldo had nothing in his reserve tank, Holloway overwhelmed him.

UFC commentator Joe Rogan was quick in his attempt to anoint Holloway as the best featherweight in the world The history of sport is absurd Aldo reigned as division champion for years in the changing landscapes of two separate martial arts promotions mixed.

Aldo won the WEC Featherweight Championship in 2009 and defended it even when it became the UFC Featherweight Championship. Aldo essentially ended the competitive races of multiple fighters, including Mike Brown and Urijah Faber. Counting with both WEC and UFC, he defended that championship nine times.

  7DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 02: Max Holloway celebrates his victory over Jose Aldo of Brazil during UFC 218 at Little Caesars Arena on December 2, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus / Getty Images)

Gregory Shamus / Getty Images

To his credit, Holloway immediately closed the adulation of Rogan by noting that he had a long way to go before he could badume the mantle of the best of all .

"At the end of the day, it's what it is, with all due respect to Aldo, it's a technical hell, but this is the blessed time," Holloway told Rogan after the fight. "This is something new, he kicks very hard, but I think we pbaded the test."

All these are true statements.

What is also true is this: Holloway has finished Aldo's time at the top of the featherweight division, and there has been a change of guard.

Here's another true statement: it's hard to see the landscape of a pen and imagine someone with the style and vigor to end Holloway's reign. Frankie Edgar was supposed to be in Detroit on Saturday, standing where Aldo was standing, but was forced to retire due to an injury to his face. I can not say that I would have given the Jersey native a better chance than Aldo. Ricardo Lamas? Cub Swanson? Brian Ortega? None of them would have given me much confidence in my discomfort.

"All these guys are muffins and I love cakes," Holloway said in the post-fight interview. "I look forward to the new flavor, but I'm going to eat them all."

Leaving aside the desserts' references, Holloway's sublime, penetrating and elegant style makes it even sadder than ever to see the only fight that really offers any kind of intrigue: a fight against former champion Conor McGregor. The Irishman already has a victory over Holloway, but it was so long ago and against a Holloway so different that we would enter the fight labeling it as a pitch.

But McGregor will never return to featherweight, if he returns to the UFC at all. Which means that Holloway will probably line up after Edgar, and then maybe Swanson (if he can come to an agreement on a new contract with the UFC).

And all that means that Holloway will probably keep that big golden belt sitting around his waist for a long time.

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