Former Featherweight Max Holloway has consistently proved his level belongs at the top of the Featherweight division and this past weekend at UFC Vegas 42, defeated Yair Rodriguez to take another bold step towards another title challenge.
Holloway (23-6 MMA, 19-6 UFC) and Yair Rodriguez (13-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) pulled off an epic battle that lasted five rounds at the UFC Apex Facility in Las Vegas. The fight was just as predicted, with Holloway using pace to pressure Rodriguez, who in his path gave Holloway a big reply for every strike the former champion sent his way.
Max Holloway emerged victorious after five hard fought rounds. A unanimous decision that left him still in the picture for a possible title rematch with the Champion Alexander Volkanovski.
Holloway as expected started the fight with his trademark stalking of his opponent while looking for openings. Rodriguez was the first to land the big shots and forced the former champion to engage in wild back and forth exchanges with all strikes landing clean.
Rodriguez was brutal with his shots and landed vicious leg kicks but Holloway kept stalking, landing hard punches of his own, while matching forward.
Both fighters kept up with the vicious back and forth exchanges in the second round. Holloway kept pushing the pace despite being at the recieving end of some vicious shots from the champion. Rodriguez soon started kicking high as he looked to hold off the constantly approaching Holloway but that didn’t deter the Hawaiian.
Holloway kept the Press on and with that took openings that saw him connect a knee close to the fence. Rodriguez then tripped and fell after trying to land another kick. Holloway’s attempt to finish off Rodriguez with the opening failed.
Rodriguez was battered in the fourth, with glaring damages. a swelling on his right eye and a cut underneath his left. Holloway jumped in to finish the fight with a standing choke but that failed too but gave him an opportunity to own a full mount on Rodriguez. Holloway did his best to retain the position but Rodriguez was able to defend well and got the fight back to the canvas.
The two expressed respect for one another with an embrace at the start of the Final Round before going in to engage in another back and forth battle characterised by high paced movements and vicious strikes.
Holloway was again the aggressor in the final round and was able to get another big impression on the Judges, taking home a 49-46, 48-47, and 48-47 score from the scorecards.
Max Holloway has now made it two straight wins and this being after his exceptional performance against Calvin Cattar. His win against Yair Rodriguez puts him back on track for a trilogy title fight against Champion Alexander Volkanovski in the nearest future.
Rodriguez returned back to the cage after two years away from active competition and even with the loss, performed beyond d expectation as he was listed a very huge underdog during the build up of the fight.
Max Holloway Defeats Yair Rodriguez Photos
UFC Vegas 42 Full Fight Card Results