Fighter Profile: Max Holloway

Photo Courtesy of Amber Bracken

Max Holloway is the greatest Featherweight fighter of all time.  He currently does not hold the belt in that division but many think he will hold it again at some point in the near future. Holloway puts on amazing performances inside the octagon and outside of the cage is a true role model who exemplifies the beauty of what being a martial artist is. And the Hawaii native is one of the best Warzone streamers in MMA.

Holloway was born on December 4, 1991 Honolulu, Hawaii  and was raised in Waianae. His mother and father were both drug users who suffered from addiction. His father, who was abusive and walked out Holloway and the rest of his family when he was 11 years old. This rough upbringing led to Holloway taking up Kickboxing which led to him competing in the sport winning his first bout after only three days competing. Holloway would then turn his focus to MMA at the age of 19.

Duke Saragosa was Holloway’s first professional fight  for the X-1 promotion in September of 2010. Holloway would win this bout by Unanimous Decision. Bryson Kamaka would be next for Holloway. He’d win this bout by Knockout. He’d then face Harris Sarmiento for the X-1 Lightweight Championship. He’d win the fight by Split Decision and thus winning the title. He’d then fight Eddie Rincon in the UIC promotion. This would be Holloway’s final fight with a smaller promotion.

Holloway would then make his way to the UFC. His first fight would be against Dustin Poirier at UFC 143. It would be Holloways first fight at featherweight and would also be the first loss of his career as Poirier slapped on the Triangle Armbar in the first round. Holloway would not be deterred by this fight and would win his next three fights before dropping two fights in a row to Dennis Bermudez and the notorious Conor McGregor. 

He’d then go on to go on an amazing 13 fight win streak and in the process would win the Featherweight interim title, a title unification bout with Jose Aldo and two successful title defenses. He’d then try to go up to Lightweight, but was unsuccessful with winning that title so he moved back down and made a title defense before losing the belt to Alexander Volkanovski who still has it to this day. He was supposed to face Volkanovski again, but had to pull out due to injury.

We hope Holloway wins the belt back soon as he is an amazing success story and has had a rough upbringing but rose above it to do something great.

What’s Next For Calvin Kattar?

UFC Fight Night: Kattar v Chikadze
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Calvin Kattar put on a fight of the year candidate when he stepped into the Octagon on Saturday night On the first UFC card of the year against Giga Chikadze. These two fighters went to war, and it left many wondering what is next for “The Boston Finisher.” There are some fights that I think make sense. The first would be a matchup between Kattar and submission expert Brian Ortega. One fight that also makes sense is a matchup between Kattar and Yair  Rodríguez. Another possible fight would be between the loser of Volkanovski vs Korean Zombie at UFC 273 in April. I think these fights make sense. 

The first fight is between Kattar and Ortega. Ortega is coming off a title loss to UFC Featherweight Champion Volkanovski in our pick for fight of the year for 2021. Ortega, who is a Black Belt under Rener Gracie has an impressive record of 15-2-(1) with nearly half of those coming by way of submission. Now Kattar has a wrestling background but he tends to lean towards a more strike heavy offense with 11 of his 23 wins coming by way of Knockout. This would be an awesome Striker vs Grappler fight and we all know how much the UFC loves to  put on those types of stylistic mismatch of fights.

 Yair  Rodríguez also works as an option for Kattar. Rodriguez is coming off a loss to Featherweight Goat Max Holloway. Rodriguez sports an impressive 13–3-(1) record with his only losses in the UFC coming from bouts against the aforementioned Holloway and to Frankie Edgar. Rodriquez is a striker holding a Black Belt in Taekwondo with the majority of his finishes coming by way of knockout. This would be a good fight where Rodriguez would stand up and throw shots at each other until they’re both bruised up or someone gets Knocked out it’d definitely be a fun fight to watch. 

The final option for Kattar would be a matchup between him and the winner of Volanovski vs. The Korean Zombie. Let’s be honest I don’t think that Volkanovski will lose his title anytime soon so it is likely it will be a matchup between Kattar and Chan Sung Jung. Jung is like a swiss army knife of fighters with a 3rd dan black belt in Hapkido, 2nd dan black belt in Taekwondo, a Black belt in Judo,and a Black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. This would be an interesting matchup between the two fighters. Because of Jung’s proficiency in all those disciplines.

Calvin Kattar is a solid contender in the Featherweight division. It’ll be interesting to see who he faces next.

What’s Next For Brian Ortega?

Brian Ortega outclasses 'Korean Zombie' in return to Octagon - Sportsnet.ca
Chris Young/CP

Brian Ortega put on the best fight of the year in all of MMA and in 2021 and since that fight in September Ortega has been on medical suspension and it is halfway done and will end in March, so in this piece we look at possibilities for what’s next for Ortega. Ortega is one of the best Jiu Jitsu practitioner in the UFC promtion and MMA as a whole. His submissions almost got him a title in 2021 and we think there are some great fights that Ortega could partake in. Could a fight with number three ranked Yair Rodriquez be in the cards. Another possibility would be a fight between Ortega and the winner of the next UFC Fight Night headlining bout between Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze. Or could a rematch between Alexander Volkanovski be in the cards.

One of the most interesting fights would be a fight between Ortega and Rodriquez. Rodriquez is coming off a loss to Max Holloway in a title eliminator in November. Rodriquez has an impressive record with his only losses in the UFC coming against Frankie Edgar and Max Holloway.  Rodriquez had an impressive record of 5-1 before reaching the UFC and his striking is very good. He holds a black belt in Taekwondo and four of his 13 wins have come by knockout. Rodriquez has submission skills too, but if he were to face Ortega in the UFC Octagon I think he’d definitely want to keep the fight standing as Ortega’s Jiu Jitsu is next level. This striker vs. Grappler matchup would be a great fight.

Another possible matchup for Ortega could be the winner of the bout between Calvin Kattar and Giga Chikadze. Kattar has a wrestling background and it would be interesting to see his wrestling matched up against Ortega’s Jiu jitsu. It would make for a great matchup. Kattar has a pretty good record at 22-5 and is coming off a loss to the greatest Featherweight of all time, Holloway. Chikadze sports an impressive 14-2 record and is currently ranked eighth in the Featherweight division. He is riding an impressive nine fight win streak and he hopes to make it ten when he faces off against Kattar. Chikadze is a striker and a Black Belt in both Goju-ryu Karate and Kyokushin Karate. This would be another great striker vs Grappler matchup for Ortega. 

Speaking directly as a fan I’d love to see a rematch with Alexander Volkanovski. Volkanovski and Ortega put on a great show in their last outings. Volkanovski slipped out of a mounted guillotine choke that anyone else in the UFC definitely would have tapped out of. Volkanovski showed why he is the champ, but as a fan I would love to see these two run it back again. Volanovski sports an impressive 23-1 record and is on a 20 fight win streak. With impressive wins over Chad Mendes, José Aldo, and Holloway. Volanovski has an impressive number of Knockout wins at 11 of his 21 wins coming that way, but he also has an impressive three wins by submission. I want to see Ortega vs. Volkanovski II.

I’m not Dana White or the UFC matchmakers but I think these would be awesome matchup for the UFC to put on. And I’m excited to see who Ortega fights next.

Fighter Profile: Calvin Kattar

Calvin Kattar uses people overlooking him as motivation ahead of Max  Holloway fight | DAZN News Laos
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images

Calvin Kattar is one of the top names in the Featherweight division. Kattar is looking to move up in the standings and get closer to a title shot when he returns to the UFC Octagon at the UFC Apex in January against Giga Chikadze. Kattar is coming off a loss, but he hopes to make his native New England proud with a win against Chikadze. 

Kattar was born on March 26, 1988 in Methuen, Massachusetts where he also grew up. He had no experience in martial arts as a child but took to Wrestling at Methuen High School and became a standout on the High School team. He was ranked as high as fifth in the state at 160 pounds. Kattar placed fifth at the Division I MIAA state championships when he was a senior in High School. Due to the uncertainty of not knowing if he’d be able to compete at wrestling in college he took up MMA, and even trained with UFC stars Nate and Nick Diaz.

Kattar made his MMA debut in June of 2007 for the CZ 22 -Cage Masters promotion where he faced, Tony Armijo. He’d win in the first round via TKO(Punches.) He’d go on to face Donald Peters for the same promotion two months later and would again win by TKO(Punches.) Kattar would then face Bob Pupa and would win again via TKO (Submission to Punches.) These quick finishes gave Kattar the nickname “The Boston Finisher.” Kattar would lose his next fight but then win five in a row before dropping another one and winning eight after that. This impressive 16-2 record caught the attention of the UFC brass.

Kattar made his UFC debut against Andre Fili  at UFC 214 in July of 2017 a full ten years and one month after making his MMA professional debut. He’d win by unanimous decision. Kattar would then face Shane Burgos at UFC 220 and would get the finish in his hometown of Boston via TKO(Punches.)  He’d then fight Renato Carneiro  and would lose via unanimous decision, his first loss for the promotion. He’d then win two fights in a row against Chris Fishgold and Ricardo Lamas both by TKO (Punches.) Kattar would then lose a bout against Zabit Magomedsharipov. He’d get back in the win column in consecutive bouts against Jeremy Stephens and Dan Ige but would drop his next fight to former featherweight champ Max Holloway. 

Kattar is coming off a tough loss to the greatest Featherweight of all time, but we hope he returns to the win column against Chikadze.

3 Great MMA Fights Still To Come in November!

Miesha Tate to Headline UFC Fight Night Card vs. Ketlen Vieira on October  16 | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights
Miesha Tate will return to the UFC Octagon on November 20th. Photo Courtesy of Zuffa LLC

November started off great for the MMA world! UFC 268 was this weekend with some amazing fights, but much like New York where UFC 268 was held the MMA world never sleeps. There are still some great fights coming up in November across both the UFC and Bellator. We’ll see returns to the UFC octagon from former champions Max Holloway and Miesha Tate. On The Bellator Side of things we’ll see the return of Featherweight Champion Cris Cyborg.

November 12: Cris Cyborg Vs. Sinead Kavanagh

On November 12th Cris Cyborg will make her return to the Bellator cage at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, FL to Defend her Featherweight title for a third time against  Sinead Kavanagh. Cyborg has been undefeated in the Bellator Cage and the only other loss of career was in her first fight and her second to last fight in the UFC against Amanda Nunes when Cyborg lost her UFC Featherweight title. Sinead Kavanagh is coming off back to back wins in her last two fights the first being against Olga Rubin at Bellator 234 and her last fight against Katharina Lehner at Bellator Milan. Should be an exciting fight for the title.

November 13: Max Holloway vs. Yair Rodríguez

Former Featherweight Champion Max Holloway found his way back into the win column when he faced Calvin Kattar in January 2021. Holloway lost back to back fights to current Featherweight Champion Alexander Vokanovski before that.  Yair Rodríguez is currently ranked third in the Featherwieght Division. Rodríguez is coming off back to back fights against Jeremy Stephens. The first fight between Rodriguez and Stephens ended in a no contest due to an eye poke, and the last fight was a win for Rodriguez. This should be a great fight with title implications on the line for both fighters.

November 20: Ketlen Vieira Vs. Miesha Tate

Miesha Tate made her comeback this summer with a TKO victory over Marion Reneau. It was her first fight since her loss to Raquel Pennington at UFC 205 in November of 2016. Tate proved that she had not experienced any ring rust and put together a dominant performance that put her back in the Bantamweight Standings. Tate is currently ranked eighth and she hopes to earn her way to a higher spot in the rankings in hopes of hopefully getting a title shot and reclaiming the belt she won against Holly Holm and lost to Amanda Nunes who has held it since then.

Ketlen Vieira will be standing in her way however. Vieira is currently ranked seventh in the  Bantamweight division. She is coming off a loss to Yana Kunitskaya in February of 2021.  Vieira who is a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and in Judo hopes to add a win on to her impressive 11-2 record and get her one step closer to a title.

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5 Fights Conor McGregor Should Consider Before Retirement

BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 17:  (R-L) Conor McGregor kicks Max Holloway in their UFC featherweight bout at TD Garden on August 17, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Photo via Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

Conor McGregor is the biggest star in MMA and is subsequently one of the most polarizing stars in the sport. The former two division champ has fought a who’s who in both the Featherweight division and in the Lightweight division. Although it seems like his better days are behind him there are some great fights that could be made for the former Champ-Champ. 

Conor McGregor Vs Islam Makhachev

It’s no mystery to anyone that when Khabib Nurmagomedov said he was retiring that he definitely meant it.  Nurmagomedov has taken up coaching to fill his time in retirement. One of his best fighters that he is coaching is Islam Makhachev. Makhachev has a dominant ground game, reminiscent of Nurmagomedov. It would be an interesting match up with Makhachev trying to take McGregor down and McGregor trying to keep the fight standing where he can use his fists to try to secure a knockout. This seems like a great fight and the UFC would find masterful ways to sell this fight because Makhachev’s camp and McGregor’s camp definitely don’t like each other.

Conor McGregor vs Tony Ferguson

One of the biggest stars in the promotion who’s also been on a losing skid as of late is Tony Ferguson. Furgeson has been calling out the Irish fighter since McGregor was down at 145 pounds. Since then McGregor has moved up to 155 pounds and has won the belt in the 155 pound division, boxed Floyd Maywether, and fought Khabib to try to win the belt again and lost. Conor. Ferguson has also had the belt in the lightweight division but it was only an Interim belt. It’d be great to see these two fan favorites go at it, and Tony Ferguson getting his very own ‘red panty night.’ 

Conor McGregor Vs. Max Holloway II

In 2013 these two fighters met in the UFC Octagon and Conor put on an impressive performance against Holloway to get the win via decision. Since then Holloway and McGregor have both become UFC Champions with Holloway defending the Featherweight belt on multiple occasions only losing the belt to current champion  Alexander Volkanovski in 2019. This would be a great rematch that I think people would love to see.

Conor McGregor vs Jorge Masvidal

Jorge Masvidal has an interesting resume with fights he’s definitely had some amazing bouts including two title fights against current Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman and a semi championship fight for the BMF belt with Nate Diaz. Masvidal hasn’t really had a big money fight like the Paydays associated with a fight like the one he’d make against McGregor. Masvidal has an amazing rags to riches story from fighting in the streets of Miami and sleeping in his car to being one of the biggest stars in the biggest MMA promotion. It’d be great to see this fight take place especially if the BMF title was back up for grabs.

Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz III

McGregor just finished his trilogy with Dustin Poirier with two losses to Poirier the last being in July at UFC 264, but the UFC star also has another Trilogy that hasn’t seen it’s final act and that is with Nate DIaz. These two fighters have met twice already and are even with a win apiece. They are both coming off consecutive losses with Diaz losing to Leon Edwards at UFC 263 in June and before that a loss to Jorge Masvidal in November of 2019. This would be an amazing match up for the fans and would make the UFC oodles of money with PPV buys and ticket sales. 

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