Max Holloway has done it! The UFC Featherweight Champion has retained his crown after a four-round blood bath against one of the division’s brightest stars, Brian Ortega.
The two touched gloves and Holloway landed a light jab to the stomach. The champion charged in for a one-two and looked disappointed that Ortega didn’t want to engage.
Ortega came in with an uppercut and leg kick, but Holloway returned with a one-two. Holloway kept his hands low and landed a nice right hand. Max then landed a body shot.
Ortega got Max’s attention with a left elbow and landed a double leg. He wasn’t able to keep Holloway down, though.
Holloway landed a right hand, but Ortega landed some counters. Max showboated, giving his opponent the thumbs up, and continued to chase Ortega.
Brian hit a head kick, and again Max gave him a cocky thumbs up. Ortega went for a single, but couldn’t land it before the round ended.
Holloway took the center of the cage in the second round. The crowd chanted his name, and he landed a clean one-two. He then followed up with a jab-jab-punch…and then another. Ortega’s nose was busted up, and Max had no intention of letting up, continuing to showboat.
Ortega wasn’t going out without a fight, though, landing a combo of his own and continuing to bob and weave left to right. Holloway continued to control the distance, though, and give the challenger a hard time.
In the last ten seconds, Ortega hit a hard one-two, but the round looked like it was in the champion’s favor.
Round 3, and the two continued with the exchanges as the crowd chanted Holloway’s name. Ortega hit a big exchange and then landed a huge takedown, showing the crowd he was still in it.
Max got up, but was clearly still shaking out the cobwebs of the last exchange.
Both fighters slowed down and landed some leg kicks. Max kept his volume up, but Ortega hit an uppercut and chased the champion around the cage.
Brian pressed Holloway against the cage, getting double underhooks and looking light he wanted to set up a throw.
Holloway broke away and landed a one-two. Ortega returned with an uppercut and then a head kick. Max came in with a bit of a flurry in the last thirty seconds, but Ortega pressed the champion up against the cage again before the round ended.
Round 3 was anyone’s round.
Holloway came running out to the center of the cage at the beginning of the championship rounds. Ortega missed badly with some punches and Holloway went back to showboating.
Ortega hit a nasty shot to the body, but Holloway kept on coming at him. Brian went for a takedown but missed it, and Holloway just kept on laying it on. Ortega came back, though, and for a moment, the fight looked like the epic slugfest between Diego Sanchez and Gilbert Melendez back in 2013.
Max clipped Ortega’s head back, and the young, BJJ black belt had no choice but to go for a takedown. He couldn’t land it, though, and pressed the champion against the fence.
Ortega tried to pull guard, and Holloway pushed away. From there, he kept the pressure on and tried to go for a guillotine. Ortega looked like he wanted to stay on the ground, but Holloway stood up.
Again, Brian went for a takedown, but nothing. Brian went down and looked like he wanted to go for a leg lock, but Holloway backed away.
The two backed up and Holloway continued the punishment before the round ended. Ortega looked like he had been hit with everything but the kitchen sink, and though he survived the fourth round, his corner had no choice but to the throw in the towel.
Ladies and gentlemen, Max Holloway has put an end to the Brian Ortega win streak, and is still the UFC Featherweight Champion.