Jose Aldo was a dominant champ until he met Conor McGregor and got smashed in 13 seconds. Now, despite having bounced back and re-earned his belt (while McGregor is off making millions upon millions in superfights), Aldo forever seems like a tainted product, living down that black mark on his record while taking on the best. Tonight, that “best” includes Max Holloway, the interim champ and a dude who’s on an undeniably impressive win streak.
The first round opens with the champ and interim champ probing and finding their range with their boxing. It takes a while, but Aldo finds his first, and cracks the Hawaiian with punches to the dome that have Holloway a little dazed and backing up. Aldo pours it on and the crowd goes wild; however, Holloway ain’t going out like that, and he recovers.
Aldo continues to be too fast in Round 2, with his punches landing before Holloway can even react. Still, Holloway keeps his head, and with each jab flicked out you can see he’s measuring and calculating distance. Both men are throwing leather and scoring, but the champ is finding the most success. Holloway is going to need to do some serious catching up.
Even though he’s quick and accurate and in constant motion, Aldo can’t seem to break Holloway, and he’s starting to get tagged more and more. Where are his brutal leg-kicks? Maybe he’s saving them for a special occasion, or maybe he forgot he has them. Either way, when Holloway drops him with a right, Aldo is suddenly in a world of hurt. The Hawaiian follows the Brazilian down and is all over him, easing into mount as he drops bombs. Aldo does his best to try to roll out of it, but Holloway simply moves to his back, briefly looks for the choke, then resumes blazing away with his fists. The champ is stuck, and soon the referee has to jump in.
Holloway has unified the featherweight belts.
Results: Max Holloway def. Jose Aldo via TKO (Punches) at 4:03, R3