Fans will finally get to see one of the most anticipated matchups between the greatest featherweight, Jose Aldo and interim titleholder Max Holloway. UFC 212 will take place June 3 at the Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro. Holloway had been aggressively calling out the Brazilian for some time while trying to get a shot at the UFC title. The bout was rumored to happen earlier this year at UFC 208, but it was canceled. During his clash with Anthony Pettis last December, Max suffered a severely swollen ankle, and doctors advised him against fighting for while.
The Real Champ
The UFC stripped Conor McGregor of the featherweight title after the undisputed champion fought outside of the division. When the UFC decided Conor could only keep the lightweight belt he obtained from knocking down Eddie Alvarez in the second round at Madison Square Garden last year, that left the 145-pound No. 1 spot for Jose and No. 2 for Max. The Brazilian and the Hawaiian, however, both have losses against the real featherweight king. According to Bloody Elbow, Conor McGregor was very upset the organization took one of his belts.
“I’m still the two-weight world champ; they can try to say what they want. They can try to put out the people that I’ve already destroyed,” Conor McGregor stated.
“The current champion (Aldo) is a guy I KO’d in 13 seconds. The present interim champ (Holloway) is a guy I destroyed as well. Officially, I don’t care what nobody says. I am the two-weight world champion, and that’s that.”
Jose Aldo And Max Holloway Have Stepped Up Their Game
Since losing by decision to McGregor in August 2013, Holloway has been on a 10 fight winning streak, picking up the interim belt at UFC 206 against Anthony Pettis. Finishing most of his fights, Max leaves them out of the hands of the judges and has collected three fight of the night bonuses. A very well-rounded MMA fighter, Holloway’s stand-up is fast and accurate. He has good defense and will stand in the pocket with anyone. Plus, if he is taken to the mat, Max can grapple with the best. The Hawaiian has never been knocked down and believes he’s the future of the division.
“One day you’re going to be standing across the cage from me, and you’ll realize you’re not better than me in every aspect of MMA and you’ll start folding. Get your mind ready. Get ready for disappointment. Cause the day we step into the cage together you’re going to find out who’s Halloway.”
Jose Aldo has been fighting the best in the world for over 10 years and is no stranger to adversity inside the Octagon. Redeeming himself after losing to McGregor in the rematch against Frankie Edgar, Aldo won the fight by unanimous decision at UFC 200. Aldo’s looking to punish Holloway for all the trash talk. First, the Brazilian softens up opponents with great hand speed and dominant leg kicks; then he looks for knees to the head. Not to mention, Jose’s takedown defense is bulletproof, and his conditioning is second-to-none. Aldo told MMA Fighting that Holloway is no threat at all.
“He has a good reach, his height is good, he has a good kickboxing, is not that good on the ground. He’s an athlete, I wouldn’t say complete, but does well everywhere. He doesn’t have heavy hands, has no knockout power. So you can be sure that I don’t see this danger that everyone else sees. But I’ll get in there and win, that’s a fact.”
The 25-year-old Hawaiian has been showing off all over social media with his “Where’s Waldo?” hashtag and said he’s gonna retire “Scarface” from MMA so he can go after a career in soccer. Halloway also claimed that at UFC 212 he’s smashing Jose in his own backyard, Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilian is very motivated and has every intention in knocking out the young gun. “Scarface” wants to shut his mouth!
Will Jose Aldo or Max Holloway win the war?
[Featured Image by Buda Mendes/Getty Images]