Following Max Holloway’s impressive win last night at UFC 231, some folks, including Joe Rogan, are saying he’s the greatest featherweight the game has ever seen. But, according to “Blessed”, he still has some work to do before he can make that claim.
Holloway took on Brian Ortega last night and proceeded to hand the rising star his first pro defeat. After the fourth round, the attending doctor determined that the bloodied and battered Ortega, whose left eye was badly swollen, couldn’t continue.
The victory extended Holloway’s winning streak to 13, and it also marked the second time he’s defended the 145, undisputed title (Holloway won the interim belt in 2016 by defeating Anthony Pettis, and then unified the title last June by stopping Jose Aldo). But, after the event, when the Hawaiian was asked about whether he considers himself as the greatest featherweight, Holloway said this (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“I still believe the greatest featherweight of all time is Jose Aldo,” Holloway said. “When I’m 30 or 31 or his age then you ask me if I’m the greatest featherweight of all-time if I’m still here.”
“I’ve got to just keep winning, keep doing my job and keep winning fights and let you guys keep talking about it,” Holloway added. “Personally, for me, I think Jose still is. I’m chasing him. He set the bar, and I’m still chasing that bar, and I’ve got to break it. People are saying this is a new era. I guess I’m setting the bar for the new era. When ‘The Blessed Era’ is here, ‘The Blessed Era’ is going to be in full effect.”
It’s an interesting discussion. On one hand, Holloway has defeated Aldo not once but twice, and he did so for the first time when the Brazilian star was just shy of turning 31. So, it’s not like Aldo was way past his prime. Some might argue that from a physical standpoint he was still in it.
But, in Aldo, we are talking about a guy who went a decade without losing, and who defended the WEC / UFC’s 145 belt 9 times. A man, who during the heights of his reign, was also regarded as one of the greatest, pound-for-pound fighters on the planet.