By: King Eddie
To say that the UFC career of Hawaii's Max Holloway has twists and turns, is a magnificent understatement. Not only does the young Featherweight have a "Company Man" status, with his tendencies to take any fight on any notice, against anybody, but the twists and turns also pertain to his style on the canvas. Using his fists, elbows, knees, and shins as his paintbrushes, Holloway creates art in motion for all fight fans to enjoy.
In his most recent bout, yet again short notice, against a relatively unknown striker in Clay Collard, Max met pressure with precision. The creativity once again flowed through him and he spun, smashed, crushed and bashed his way to a "Fight Of The Night" worthy performance. After his original opponent, Mirsad Bektic, pulled out due to injury, Max accepted a very dangerous fight against an unknown adversary in the crafty striker, Clay Collard, only to shine through once again as a solid member of the UFC's Featherweight Division.
The first round played out in a relatively fantastic fashion when Collard decided to make pressure the name of his game. Max took his time and placed his shots accordingly, landing several hard rights to the body and head of his opponent, all the while mixing in some thunderous head kicks. However, the chin of Collard held up, and the fight became more and more furious with each exchange. Hoping to see his opponent tire, Holloway continued his calculated assault. When the power and persistence of Collard surged late in the round, Max kicked into overdrive. He countered spinning attempts with spinning kicks that landed. I'm quite sure that Collard will be tasting Max's feet and shins for a few days.
The second round played out much like the first. Both men met in the center and what followed was a twisting, spinning, hurricane of strikes. On occasion Collard would look to take the fight to the ground, but Holloway threatened with submission attempts and the two inevitably made their way back to the feet. Continuously landing hard right hands on his opponents chin, Max became flew a little more loose in the second round, leading to some brawling exchanges. A place that Collard would really prefer the fight. But in true "Blessed" form, Max wrangled Clay into every corner of the cage he wanted him, and unleashed flurries, power strikes, and energy sucking defenses that took a toll on the newcomer's performance. Closing out the round on the ground, Max tried to sink in a triangle choke, but with mere seconds left, elected rather to throw some nasty elbow strikes.
In round number three it was shocking to see that Max had become the more winded fighter. But then again, throwing a two round high octane beating on a guy will sink in on even the most conditioned fighters. Once again, the men danced the dance of face smashing. Each unloading a hefty dose of haymaker one after the other. Still, ever so calculated, Max managed to exploit the weaknesses of his overly eager foe, and find h is way in a dominant position on the ground. After taking the back rendered no submission, Max made his way to a mounted position squarely on top of his opponent and rained down elbows and punches that shook Collard's skull a little too much for the ref to allow. The fight, once again for Holloway, was finished in the third round.
Such spectacular performances, in the face of the unknown, are doing nothing less than proving that this 22 year old youngster, is blazing his way to one hell of a legacy in the UFC for himself, and for all of Hawaii.
Congratulations Max "Blessed" Holloway on yet another spectacular display of what a dedicated Hawaii fighter can do when given an opportunity to shine.