Holloway smashes UFC records in historic Fight Night in Abu Dhabi

Max Holloway celebrates his victory against Calvin Kattar at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Abu Dhabi. — Twitter
Max Holloway celebrates his victory against Calvin Kattar at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Abu Dhabi. — Twitter

Abu Dhabi - Holloway landed a UFC-record 445 significant strikes

By Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sun 17 Jan 2021, 4:29 PM

Last updated: Sun 17 Jan 2021, 7:35 PM

Max Holloway, No.1 featherweight contender, more than delivered the promised fireworks while smashing UFC records in a dominating win over No. 6 Calvin Kattar at UFC Fight Night in Abu Dhabi.

The Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi couldn’t have had a better inaugural event as Holloway punished Kattar with 445 significant strikes breaking his own UFC record of 290. In a historic night of the Fight Island, more records tumbled as Holloway landed 141 significant strikes in a round. The combined significant strikes, with Kattar’s 133, at the end hit 578 in the first of the main event of the three triple headers.

It was one-way traffic from the start. And fans in attendance for the first UFC event of the year cheered the Hawaiian throughout as he dominated Kattar across five rounds to pick a unanimous decision (50-43, 50-43, 50-42), which only the second such occasion of a dismal 50-42 score being ever registered.

By the final round, the 29-year-old ‘Blessed’ was in his element, even responding to the commentators as he kept thrashing ‘The Boston Finisher’, who to his credit, took all the blows till the end.

The fight was so brutal that UFC president Dana White was planning to send Kattar straight to the hospital after the final bell.

“Those kinds of fights freak me out,” he said about the ‘Fight of the Night’.

Holloway, meanwhile, said he had the best time of his life inside the octagon.

“I just felt super good. I threw a couple of spinning elbows. I think my trainers were losing their minds. I had the time of my life in there. I’m glad I set some records. It’s been a good night, I’m speechless.”

Holloway also landed 274 significant head strikes and 117 significant body strikes.

“I love boxing. I love just piecing someone up and punching them in the face, but I think I found a new love tonight. I think I found the love of elbowing someone in the head, so that was pretty cool.”

With such a crushing victory, Holloway is hoping to catch the attention of lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.

“Khabib wanted somebody to impress him, if I did impress him — because I know the way he thinks. He wants to fight for his legacy, he doesn’t care about money. He wants the toughest opponents. If I got to push him over the edge so be it.”

Holloway, after losing his title to the current featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski, gave him a shout out. “I’m not going to force somebody to fight me. I’m ready. Dana can send the contract whenever and we’ll get it on the way.”

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