The main event at UFC 218 saw José Aldo and Max Holloway battle it out for the UFC featherweight title in front of a packed Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
In their first fight at UFC 212 in June, Holloway endured sustained attacks from his faster opponent and arguably lost the first two rounds before showing his toughness and incredible cardio to come back and eventually score a third round knockout.
Next in line for a title shot was fan favourite Frankie Edgar but he had to pull out of the contest due to injury. Watching from the sidelines, Edgar was happy to give his (slightly hedged) prediction as to who he thought would come away with the W.
“I think Holloway is going to get it done, but Aldo is always dangerous, so you never know.”
He had a message for the winner, too.
“I’m coming for that belt man. I’ve not changed my goals. I want to become a two-weight champion and I know I’m close to it. I’m just going to get back fit and get it done.”
Holloway was more than happy to accept a rematch with the former champ Aldo and believed that back-to-back victories over one of the top featherweights in the history of MMA would prove that he was ‘the best’:
“He’s been one of the best guys for years, so to show I’m the best in back-to-back fights, sign me up.”
The bookmakers saw this one going the same way as the first and installed Holloway as a strong favourite at $1.35 while Aldo was an outsider at $3.20.
The champ came out hard and fast, pushing Aldo onto the back foot. Aldo sat back and read his opponent, not throwing a significant strike in the first minute. Aldo landed a flush uppercut towards the end of the round and looked to have slightly taken the first round.
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Things picked up in the second round, and Aldo opted to stand and bang with Holloway. Again Aldo looked to have taken the second round, but was tiring quickly and looked vulnerable each time Holloway landed a punch.
In the third round the intensity lifted again, and Holloway suckered Aldo into really letting loose in a massive brawl. Both men landed big shots and were swinging wildly, but it was clear Aldo’s gas tank was emptying quickly. Aldo then shot for a take down, before Holloway eventually took top position and finished him with some ground and pound.
Holloway extended his winning streak to 12 in a row now with successive KO/TKO finishes against Jose Aldo. Aldo on the other hand has now suffered 3 brutal losses in his last four fights, which begs the question of whether he should hang up the gloves.
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