I doubted Max Holloway. I admit it.

He was unable to make it to the scale for his last couple of fights, and by all appearances, it seemed as if the cut down to featherweight was getting to be too much for the champ. So when it was announced he’d finally be facing top challenger Brian Ortega in the main event of UFC 231, I was skeptical he’d even make it to the cage. Or, the very least, he’d be too depleted from his weight cut to do anything but lose.

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I was wrong.

For four rounds, Holloway beat the ever-lovin’ crap out of Ortega, feeding him a steady stream of punches that eventually turned the challenger’s face into a Tiki mask.

Ortega was assumed to have the advantage if the fight went to the ground, but Holloway only rarely gave up the takedown, and when he did go horizontal, he was back up soon after. Meanwhile, Holloway was so dangerous and so confident on the feet, he began taunting Ortega, Nate Diaz-style.

The challenger never gave up, despite the beating, but by the end of the fourth his eye was swollen shut and the doctor had seen enough.

Apparently you can no longer doubt Holloway’s ability to defend that belt. I know I can’t.