Max Holloway

Jerome Max Kelii Holloway (born December 4, 1991) is an American professional mixed martial artist.

He currently competes in the Featherweight and Lightweight divisions in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), where he is the current UFC BMF (baddest motherfucker) Champion and a former UFC Featherweight Champion. As of February 20, 2024, he is #2 in the UFC featherweight rankings, and as of April 16, 2024, he is #9 in the UFC lightweight rankings and #8 in the UFC men's pound-for-pound rankings.

Max Holloway
Max Holloway
Holloway in 2022
BornJerome Max Kelii Holloway
(1991-12-04) December 4, 1991 (age 32)
Honolulu, Hawaii, U.S.
Other namesBlessed
Height5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight155 lb (70 kg; 11 st 1 lb)
DivisionFeatherweight (2012–present)
Lightweight (2010–2011, 2019, 2024)
Reach69 in (175 cm)
Fighting out ofWaianae, Hawaii, U.S.
TeamGracie Technics
RankBrown belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Rylan Lizares
Years active2010–present
Mixed martial arts record
Total33
Wins26
By knockout12
By submission2
By decision12
Losses7
By submission1
By decision6
Websitemaxhollowaymma.com
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Background

Holloway was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and raised in Waianae, an area known for fist fighting. He is of Native Hawaiian and Samoan ancestry. Holloway's parents were heavy drug users, his mother Missy Kapoi being a crystal meth consumer who later recovered. His father, Mark Holloway, who constantly abused his mother, left when Max was around 11 years old. Max started training kickboxing in 2007 at the end of his sophomore year, aged 15, out of Team Ruthless, and went on to win his first amateur bout in the sport after three days of training. He graduated from Waianae High School in 2010.

Mixed martial arts career

Early MMA career

At the age of 19, Holloway had amassed a record of 4–0. He gained recognition as the #7 featherweight prospect of 2012 in Bloody Elbow's 2012 World MMA Scouting Report and was compared with former UFC and former WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, due to his ability to incorporate a wide array of flying and spinning kicks, knees and elbows into his striking game. He would later go on to defeat Pettis to capture the UFC featherweight championship before unifying the title.

His early career was highlighted by a split decision win over former Strikeforce and WEC veteran Harris Sarimento on March 12, 2011, earning himself the lightweight strap for the Hawaii-based X-1 promotion.

Ultimate Fighting Championship

2012

Holloway was the youngest fighter on the UFC roster when he made his promotional debut as an injury replacement for Ricardo Lamas at UFC 143 on February 4, 2012, against Dustin Poirier. He lost the fight via submission (mounted triangle armbar) in the first round.

In his second fight, Holloway faced Pat Schilling on June 1, 2012, at The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale. Holloway won via unanimous decision (30–27, 30–27, 30–27).

Holloway defeated Justin Lawrence, on August 11, 2012, at UFC 150. Holloway won the fight via TKO in the second round.

Holloway fought Leonard Garcia on December 29, 2012, at UFC 155, replacing an injured Cody McKenzie. Holloway won the close fight via split decision.

2013

Holloway faced Dennis Bermudez on May 25, 2013, at UFC 160. He lost the fight controversially via split decision. 11 out of 11 media members scored the fight in favor of Holloway.

Holloway faced Conor McGregor on August 17, 2013, at UFC Fight Night 26. He lost the fight via unanimous decision.

2014

Holloway faced promotional newcomer Will Chope on January 4, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 34. Holloway won the fight via TKO in the second round. The win also earned Holloway his first Knockout of the Night bonus.

Holloway faced Andre Fili on April 26, 2014, at UFC 172. He won the back-and-forth fight after submitting Fili in the third round.

Holloway was expected to face Mirsad Bektić on August 23, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 49, replacing an injured Ernest Chavez. However, Bektic pulled out of the bout in the week leading up to the event and was replaced by promotional newcomer Clay Collard. Holloway won the fight via TKO in the third round.

Holloway again served as a replacement and faced Akira Corassani on October 4, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 53, filling in for Chan Sung Jung. He won the fight via knockout in the first round. The win earned Holloway his first Performance of the Night bonus award.

2015

Holloway faced Cole Miller on February 15, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 60. Holloway won via unanimous decision.

Holloway faced Cub Swanson on April 18, 2015, at UFC on Fox 15. Holloway finished the fight with a mounted guillotine in the third round. The win also earned Holloway his second Performance of the Night bonus award.

Holloway faced Charles Oliveira on August 23, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 74. He won the fight via TKO in the first round after Oliveira suffered an apparent neck/shoulder injury while defending a takedown and was unable to continue. The injury was later described as a micro-tear in his esophagus, although the UFC later released a statement clarifying that Oliveira had no major injuries. With the win, Holloway became the youngest fighter in UFC history to get 10 wins.

Holloway faced Jeremy Stephens on December 12, 2015, at UFC 194. Holloway won the fight via unanimous decision.

2016

Holloway faced Ricardo Lamas on June 4, 2016, at UFC 199. He won via unanimous decision.

Holloway faced Anthony Pettis for the interim UFC Featherweight Championship on December 10, 2016, at UFC 206. At the weigh-ins, Pettis came in at 148 lbs., three pounds over the featherweight limit of 145 lbs for a championship fight. As a result, in case Pettis were to win the fight with Holloway, he would be ineligible for the UFC championship. Pettis was also fined 20% of his purse, which went to Holloway and the bout proceeded at a catchweight. Holloway won the fight via TKO in the third round and was awarded a Performance of the Night bonus.

2017

Holloway faced the featherweight champion José Aldo in a title unification bout on June 3, 2017, at UFC 212. After facing some early adversity, Holloway defeated Aldo via TKO in the third round and earned his first Fight of the Night bonus award for the bout.

On October 4, 2017, Holloway revealed that he had signed a new multi-fight deal with UFC. Holloway was expected to face Frankie Edgar on December 2, 2017, at UFC 218; however, on November 8, 2017, Edgar withdrew from the card due to injury and was replaced by José Aldo. Holloway won the fight via TKO in the third round and retained the UFC Featherweight belt.

2018

The bout with Edgar was rescheduled and was expected to take place on March 3, 2018, at UFC 222. However, it was announced on February 3, 2018, that Holloway had been forced to pull out of the bout due to a leg injury.

Max Holloway 
Holloway in 2018.

On April 1, 2018, Holloway was announced as a late replacement for the injured Tony Ferguson in a fight for the vacant undisputed UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 223 against Khabib Nurmagomedov to be held on April 7, 2018. If victorious, Holloway would be only the second fighter (behind Conor McGregor) in UFC history to hold titles in two different divisions simultaneously. Holloway, who had no fight scheduled and was not in a training camp, accepted the fight with only six days to prepare. On April 6, as he was due to weigh in, Holloway was pulled from the card by New York State Athletic Commission doctors due to the severity of his short-notice weight cut. The bout continued with Al Iaquinta as a last minute replacement for Holloway.

Holloway was then scheduled to defend his UFC Featherweight Championship title on July 7, 2018, at UFC 226 against Brian Ortega. However, on July 4, Holloway was pulled from the fight due to "concussion like symptoms".

For his second title defense, Holloway faced Brian Ortega in the main event at UFC 231 in Toronto, Canada on December 8, 2018. Holloway won the fight via TKO at the end of fourth round by doctor stoppage. This win earned him the Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night awards. Holloway broke the record for most significant strikes in one fight with 290, broke the record for landing 134 of those significant strikes in a round, and set the record for most victories in UFC featherweight history with fifteen. Holloway's significant strike records have since been surpassed by himself when he faced Calvin Kattar at UFC on ABC 1 on January 16, 2021, with 445 significant strikes landed in the fight and 141 landed in round four.

2019

As a result of the Khabib Nurmagomedov incident at UFC 229, the then lightweight champion Nurmagomedov was unable to defend his undisputed title until late 2019 which led to an interim lightweight title fight. For the interim UFC Lightweight Championship, Holloway moved up a weight class to face Dustin Poirier in a rematch. He lost the back-and-forth fight by unanimous decision. This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.

Holloway came back down to featherweight, and a bout against former UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar was scheduled a third time and eventually took place on July 27, 2019, in the main event of UFC 240. Holloway won the fight by unanimous decision, successfully defending his featherweight title for a third time.

In his fourth title defense, Holloway faced Alexander Volkanovski on December 14, 2019, at UFC 245. He lost the fight via unanimous decision, ending his featherweight reign.

2020

Holloway faced Alexander Volkanovski in a rematch for the UFC Featherweight Championship on July 12 at UFC 251. He lost the fight via split decision. This decision was controversial amongst media outlets, with 18 out of 27 media scores giving it to Holloway, mixed martial arts personalities such as UFC president Dana White, former referee and creator of the rules system John McCarthy and multiple mixed martial artists.

2021

Holloway faced Calvin Kattar on January 16, 2021, headlining UFC on ABC 1. Holloway dominated Kattar for all 5 rounds and won by unanimous decision, with two judges scoring the fight 50–43 and one judge scoring it 50–42 in his favor. During the last two minutes of the fifth round, Holloway landed a two-punch combo and proceeded to stare at the commentary team sitting cage-side and talk to them, while effortlessly dodging Kattar's strikes and yelling "I'm the best boxer in the UFC!" to him, which generated talk about an homage to Muhammad Ali, known for his showboating. Holloway set the UFC single-fight records for total strikes landed and attempted, significant strikes landed and attempted, strike differential, distance strikes landed, significant head strikes landed and significant body strikes landed. His fourth-round also set the record for strikes and significant strikes landed. Both fighters earned the Fight of the Night award.

Holloway was scheduled to face Yair Rodríguez on July 17, 2021, at UFC on ESPN 26. On June 17, 2021, reports stated that Holloway was forced to pull out of the fight with Rodríguez due to injury.

Holloway faced Yair Rodríguez on November 13, 2021, at UFC Fight Night 197. He won the fight via unanimous decision. Both fighters earned the Fight of the Night award.

2022

Holloway was scheduled to face Alexander Volkanovski for the UFC Featherweight Championship on March 5, 2022, at UFC 272. However, a day after the fight announcement, Holloway was forced to pull from the event due to injury. The trilogy bout was rescheduled to occur at UFC 276 on July 2, 2022. Holloway lost the bout via unanimous decision.

2023

Holloway faced Arnold Allen on April 15, 2023, at UFC on ESPN 44. He won the fight by unanimous decision.

Holloway faced Jung Chan-sung on August 26, 2023, at UFC Fight Night 225. He won the bout via knockout at the beginning of the third round. This bout earned him a Fight of the Night award.

2024

Max Holloway 
Holloway with the BMF belt

Holloway faced Justin Gaethje in a lightweight bout on April 13, 2024, at UFC 300 for the symbolic "BMF" ("baddest motherfucker") belt. Holloway won the BMF championship by knockout in the last second of round five, tying the record for the latest knockout win in UFC history. Due to the UFC increasing the payout of post fight bonuses from $50,000 to $300,000 for the event, this fight earned him a $300,000 Performance of the Night award and a $300,000 Fight of the Night award totalling $600,000.

Personal life

Holloway married his long-time girlfriend Kaimana Pa'aluhi in 2012, with whom he has one son, Rush Holloway. The couple separated in 2014 before divorcing in 2017. Holloway began dating Hawaiian pro surfer Alessa Quizon in early 2020. They married on April 16, 2022.

Championships and accomplishments

Mixed martial arts record

Professional record breakdown
33 matches 26 wins 7 losses
By knockout 12 0
By submission 2 1
By decision 12 6
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 26–7 Justin Gaethje KO (punch) UFC 300 April 13, 2024 5 4:59 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Lightweight bout. Won the UFC "BMF" title. Tied for latest finish in UFC history. Performance of the Night. Fight of the Night.
Win 25–7 Jung Chan-sung KO (punch) UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. The Korean Zombie August 26, 2023 3 0:23 Kallang, Singapore Fight of the Night.
Win 24–7 Arnold Allen Decision (unanimous) UFC on ESPN: Holloway vs. Allen April 15, 2023 5 5:00 Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Loss 23–7 Alexander Volkanovski Decision (unanimous) UFC 276 July 2, 2022 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States For the UFC Featherweight Championship.
Win 23–6 Yair Rodríguez Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Rodríguez November 13, 2021 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 22–6 Calvin Kattar Decision (unanimous) UFC on ABC: Holloway vs. Kattar January 16, 2021 5 5:00 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates Fight of the Night.
Loss 21–6 Alexander Volkanovski Decision (split) UFC 251 July 12, 2020 5 5:00 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates For the UFC Featherweight Championship.
Loss 21–5 Alexander Volkanovski Decision (unanimous) UFC 245 December 14, 2019 5 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Lost the UFC Featherweight Championship.
Win 21–4 Frankie Edgar Decision (unanimous) UFC 240 July 27, 2019 5 5:00 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Defended the UFC Featherweight Championship.
Loss 20–4 Dustin Poirier Decision (unanimous) UFC 236 April 13, 2019 5 5:00 Atlanta, Georgia, United States For the interim UFC Lightweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 20–3 Brian Ortega TKO (doctor stoppage) UFC 231 December 8, 2018 4 5:00 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Defended the UFC Featherweight Championship. Performance of the Night. Fight of the Night.
Win 19–3 José Aldo TKO (punches) UFC 218 December 2, 2017 3 4:51 Detroit, Michigan, United States Defended the UFC Featherweight Championship.
Win 18–3 José Aldo TKO (punches) UFC 212 June 3, 2017 3 4:13 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Won and unified the UFC Featherweight Championship. Fight of the Night.
Win 17–3 Anthony Pettis TKO (body kick and punches) UFC 206 December 10, 2016 3 4:50 Toronto, Ontario, Canada Won the interim UFC Featherweight Championship; Pettis missed weight (148 lb) and was ineligible to win the title. Performance of the Night.
Win 16–3 Ricardo Lamas Decision (unanimous) UFC 199 June 4, 2016 3 5:00 Inglewood, California, United States
Win 15–3 Jeremy Stephens Decision (unanimous) UFC 194 December 12, 2015 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 14–3 Charles Oliveira TKO (esophagus injury) UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Oliveira August 23, 2015 1 1:39 Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Win 13–3 Cub Swanson Submission (guillotine choke) UFC on Fox: Machida vs. Rockhold April 18, 2015 3 3:58 Newark, New Jersey, United States Performance of the Night.
Win 12–3 Cole Miller Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Thatch February 14, 2015 3 5:00 Broomfield, Colorado, United States
Win 11–3 Akira Corassani KO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Story October 4, 2014 1 3:11 Stockholm, Sweden Performance of the Night.
Win 10–3 Clay Collard TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. dos Anjos August 23, 2014 3 3:47 Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States Catchweight (149 lb) bout.
Win 9–3 Andre Fili Submission (guillotine choke) UFC 172 April 26, 2014 3 3:39 Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Win 8–3 Will Chope TKO (punches) UFC Fight Night: Saffiedine vs. Lim January 4, 2014 2 2:27 Marina Bay, Singapore Knockout of the Night.
Loss 7–3 Conor McGregor Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen August 17, 2013 3 5:00 Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Loss 7–2 Dennis Bermudez Decision (split) UFC 160 May 25, 2013 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 7–1 Leonard Garcia Decision (split) UFC 155 December 29, 2012 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 6–1 Justin Lawrence TKO (punches) UFC 150 August 11, 2012 2 4:49 Denver, Colorado, United States
Win 5–1 Pat Schilling Decision (unanimous) The Ultimate Fighter: Live Finale June 1, 2012 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Loss 4–1 Dustin Poirier Submission (triangle armbar) UFC 143 February 4, 2012 1 3:23 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Featherweight debut.
Win 4–0 Eddie Rincon Decision (unanimous) UIC 4: War on the Valley Isle July 1, 2011 3 5:00 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 3–0 Harris Sarmiento Decision (split) X-1: Champions 3 March 12, 2011 5 5:00 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States Won the X-1 Lightweight Championship.
Win 2–0 Bryson Kamaka KO (punches) X-1: Island Pride November 6, 2010 1 3:09 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Win 1–0 Duke Saragosa Decision (unanimous) X-1: Heroes September 11, 2010 3 5:00 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States Lightweight debut.

Pay-per-view bouts

No Event Fight Date Venue City PPV buys
1 UFC 206 Holloway vs. Pettis December 10, 2016 Scotiabank Arena Toronto, Ontario, Canada 150,000
2. UFC 212 Aldo vs. Holloway June 3, 2017 Jeunesse Arena Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 200,000
3. UFC 218 Holloway vs. Aldo 2 December 2, 2017 Little Caesars Arena Detroit, Michigan, United States 230,000
4. UFC 231 Holloway vs. Ortega December 8, 2018 Scotiabank Arena Toronto, Ontario, Canada 300,000
5. UFC 236 Holloway vs. Poirier 2 April 13, 2019 State Farm Arena Atlanta, Georgia, United States 100,000
6. UFC 240 Holloway vs. Edgar July 27, 2019 Rogers Place Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Not Disclosed

See also

References

José Aldo 3rd UFC Interim Featherweight Champion
December 10, 2016 – June 3, 2017 Vacant
Title next held by
Yair Rodríguez Preceded by 4th UFC Featherweight Champion
June 3, 2017 – December 14, 2019 Succeeded by

Tags:

Max Holloway BackgroundMax Holloway Mixed martial arts careerMax Holloway Personal lifeMax Holloway Championships and accomplishmentsMax Holloway Mixed martial arts recordMax Holloway Pay-per-view boutsMax Holloway

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