After he won the UFC interim featherweight title against Anthony Pettis back in December at UFC 206, Max Holloway kept saying he wanted to fight Jose Aldo. Not many fans gave him a shot when the title unification bout was announced for UFC 212 in Aldo's home country of Brazil.
Holloway (18-4) proved the doubters wrong, defeating Aldo by TKO at 4:13 of the third round to become the undisputed UFC featherweight champion in the main event of UFC 212 from Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro.
"This is the blessed era," Holloway told Brian Stann in his post-fight interview. "Dana White, where’s my 50K? I want my check."
Aldo got off to great start in the first round by being the faster and more explosive fighter. The Brazilian was able to get in and get out. Holloway looked to be tentative and from the look of it, the moment might have appeared to be too big for the Hawaiian.
The second round was looking like a carbon copy of the first but about halfway through the round, Holloway started to get loose and into a rhythm, connecting on combinations and started to move Aldo.
In the third, Holloway left off with what he had done in the previous round. A left hand followed by a right hand from Holloway signaled the fight belonged to the 25-year-old. Aldo sensed that and started to throw heavy shots and was getting exhausted. Holloway landed a one-two combination which had Aldo staggered. Holloway sensed it, landing another one-two which dropped Aldo to the canvas.
Holloway started connecting on vicious ground and pound punches. Referee John McCarthy was giving Aldo every chance to get out of the situation, even giving McCarthy a thumbs up to ensure he was ok. Holloway, though, wasn't taking no for answer and continued the assault until McCarthy had seen enough and stopped the fight.
Holloway becomes the second Hawaiian to win a UFC title, BJ Penn being the first. He also runs his consecutive winning streak to 11, tying himself for fifth with UFC Hall of Famer Royce Gracie.
Aldo (26-3) now has lost two of his last three fights.