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UFC Fight Island: Max Holloway pummels Calvin Kattar

Curious why they call Max Holloway “Blessed”? Look no further than the masterpiece he painted on Calvin Kattar’s face on Saturday.

The former featherweight champion shattered UFC records for strikes landed (447) and attempted (746), per UFC Stats, over a tour de force of a five-round headliner to earn a lopsided unanimous decision, 50-43, 50-43, 50-42, at Etihad Arena from UFC Fight Island in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

“As long as you can take it, I’m going to give it,” Holloway told reporters after the fight. “As long as the ref lets you stay in there, I’m going to keep giving it.”

What appeared to be ahead of Saturday an intriguing matchup of elite MMA strikers quickly morphed into a showcase for Holloway on the UFC’s debut event on ABC, the promotion’s first network-televised live fights since leaving Fox networks for ESPN. Holloway (22-6, 12 finishes) found a groove uncharacteristically early in the first frame, outlanding Kattar (22-5, 13 finishes) 56-24.

Round 2 saw the ex-champ, who entered off a pair of defeats to champion Alexander Volkanovski, kick it into another gear, lighting up Kattar with heavy hands in volume. Outlanding his opponent 89-20 over five minutes, Holloway secured dominant 10-8 round scores from all three judges.

Max Holloway celebrates after his win over Calvin Kattar.
Max Holloway celebrates after his win over Calvin Kattar.
Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The third round was more competitive by comparison, with Holloway not putting Kattar in quite so much danger as the previous period and only out-landing the Massachusetts product 77-30.

By the fourth, Holloway was in virtuoso mode. He matched a career high with 141 total strikes landed, tied for fifth in UFC history, inducing talk from the cageside commentators for to put a stop to the proceedings. For his efforts, Holloway again garnered unanimous 10-8 scores.

“If you ain’t a Max Holloway fan, you’re a hater,” Kattar said in the octagon after the decision was read.

With nothing to gain by pushing the pace over the final five minutes, Hawaii’s Holloway continued to come forward with a high-volume attack. He even felt confident enough to directly address the commentary team, taking his eyes off Kattar and quickly snapping back to land punches. Though Holloway didn’t come quite as close to forcing a referee’s stoppage as the previous round, he out-landed Kattar 84-26 and was again assessed a 10-8, albeit from just one judge this time.

Holloway agreed it was his best career performance.

“For sure,” he said. “I was having the time of my life.”

nypost.com

New York Post

The New York Post is a daily tabloid newspaper in New York City. The Post also operates NYPost.com, the celebrity gossip site PageSix.com and the entertainment site Decider.com.

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