Tag Archives: Featherweight

Who will be a male UFC champion at the end of 2022?

The UFC returns to title fights this weekend at UFC 270 when the heavyweights and flyweight strap is on the line.

Both of those belts changed hands in 2021, as Francis Ngannou knocked out Stipe Miocic at UFC 260 and Brandon Moreno submitted Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 263.

We also saw a new bantamweight, lightweight and light heavyweight champion crowned during the year, so how will 2022 pan out? Lets take a look.

Flyweight (125lbs) – Askar Askarov

Flyweight is one of the better divisions in the UFC right now and I think we’ll once again see a new champion crowned at some point in 2022.

Askar Askarov has been undefeated throughout his career with a 14-0-1 record, with the only draw coming in his UFC debut against… Brandon Moreno. Askarov will get his title shot by the end of the year, and his wrestling is too good for anyone to be able to navigate past him so I think he holds the belt come 2023.

Bantamweight (135lbs) – Petr Yan

The only reason Yan isn’t the champion right now is because he got over excited and threw a knee to a downed Aljamain Sterling at UFC 259. He was winning the first fight quite comfortably at the time, so the fight was re-made for later in the year.

Sterling was forced to withdraw and it’s now set for UFC 273 in April, which means Yan will head into the summer as champ. He’ll likely defend the strap at the end of the year against TJ Dillashaw in a brilliant fight, but I think he edges that and takes a huge boost in credibility this year.

Featherweight (145lbs) – Max Holloway

What a division, and what a title fight that awaits us later this year.

Alexander Volkanovski defended the belt successfully in 2021 with a dominant win over Brian Ortega at UFC 266 and was set to fight Max Holloway at UFC 272 until the Hawaiian got injured and saw it get cancelled.

If Volk can see off the Korean Zombie at UFC 273 now in the new bout, he will face off against Holloway at some point in 2022 and I think ‘Blessed’ finally gets his win over the Aussie to reclaim the title.

Lightweight (155lbs) – Islam Makhachev

Arguably the most exciting division in the company right now when it comes to the title picture, I’m predicting yet another new champion at lightweight.

Charles Oliveira claimed the crown at UFC 262 when he beat Michael Chandler, then defended it successfully when he submitted Dustin Poirier at UFC 269. He’ll now fight Justin Gaethje at some point in 2022, and the winner will fight the winner of Beneil Dariush vs Islam Makhachev at UFC Vegas 49 in February.

I think Makhachev gets the victory there, then gets the victory in the title fight too to fulfil Khabib Nurmagomedov’s prophecy that he will become champion and rule over the division for a long time to come.

Kamaru Usman of Nigeria reacts after his victory over Gilbert Burns of Brazil in their UFC welterweight championship fight during the UFC 258 event...

Welterweight (170lbs) – Kamaru Usman

The best in the world right now pound-for-pound, and I don’t see that changing in 2022.

Usman went 3-0 in 2021 with wins over Gilbert Burns at UFC 258, Jorge Masvidal at UFC 261 and Colby Covington at UFC 268 and is now not expected to return to the cage until the summer.

That means one or two fights at most this year, with Leon Edwards certainly one of them, and I don’t see him losing to anyone so soon so I think he holds onto the belt yet again.

Middleweight (185lbs) – Israel Adesanya

The best middleweight in the world and one of the best of all-time, Israel Adesanya will be the 185-pound champion when we enter 2023.

His biggest test will come in February when he faces Robert Whittaker in a rematch at UFC 271, which I think he’ll win again. With that said though, a loss will almost certainly result in a rematch later in the year with their personal series set at 1-1 and he’d then reclaim the belt there.

Either way, ‘The Last Stylebender’ will be the champ when 2022 closes.

Light Heavyweight (205lbs) – Jiri Prochazka

This division isn’t particularly stacked at the top end but one thing it does have is a pathway for the title picture.

Glover Teixeira dethroned Jan Blachowicz at UFC 267 to finally claim the strap, but it feels short-lived because he’s due to take on the killing machine that is Jiri Prochazka next and that means he probably gets violently finished.

Aleksandar Rakic and Magomed Ankalaev are likely to find themselves in contention too by the end of the year, but stylistically none of them suit a fight with ‘Denisa’ and he holds the throne until 2023.

Jiri Prochazka of the Czech Republic poses on the scale during the UFC 267 official weigh-in at Hilton Abu Dhabi Yas Island on October 29, 2021 in...

Heavyweight (265lbs) – Ciryl Gane

The big boys are in the best shape they’ve been in, maybe ever, in the UFC right now and it’s created arguably an amazing year in the division in 2022.

Ciryl Gane will take on Francis Ngannou this weekend and a fight with Jon Jones seemingly awaits the winner. Stipe Miocic is likely to return at some point this year too and head for the title once again.

With Miocic back as well as Jones and Ngannou’s contract situations there are plenty of routes to the title this year, but ultimately they all end with ‘Bon Gamin’ as the heavyweight champion of the world heading into 2023.


UFC Vegas 46 Fallout: Kattar shows the levels, Chookagian dilemma

The UFC returned with a spectacular main event in a rather disappointing ten-fight card at UFC Vegas 46 as Calvin Kattar returned to the win column with a bang.

Kattar returned after a year out of the octagon to take on Giga Chikadze in a featherweight main event that had fireworks written all over it.

It delivered too, in a superb five-round war that had everything except a finish going for it to set the bar high for the fight of the night in 2022.

Chikadze started the fight exceedingly well, landing hard body kicks and sharp right hands, before he threw a kick and slipped which allowed Kattar to step in and grapple with him.

After that though, Kattar was completely dominant for the next four rounds. He applied a crazy high pace and pressure to shut the distance down, not allowing Chikadze to throw kicks.

He landed heavy strikes, which later turned to elbows to cause further damage while also mixing in takedowns to keep Chikadze honest.

The Georgian gave it everything, landing some huge shots of his own but Kattar once again showed his chin and managed to secure a huge unanimous decision victory.

The win keeps him in the top five of the division and with three of the five guys above him getting title shots recently, and the other being Yair Rodriguez who is coming off a loss, Kattar has a real chance of title contention this year.

A fight against either Rodriguez or Brian Ortega seems like the fight to make going forward, if we don’t see Ortega vs Rodriguez instead, and a win could catapult him into the title contender position.

A bit earlier on the card was a women’s flyweight contender fight between Katlyn Chookagian and Jennifer Maia, that produced a fun, back-and-forth bout between two top five 125-pounders.

Chookagian picked up the unanimous decision win, just as she did back at UFC 244 in their first fight, but following the event she revealed in the press conference that that was the final fight of her contract.

Speaking to the media, Chookagian claimed that she wanted to renegotiate her deal with the organisation before the Maia fight but they told her that they wanted her to fight out her current deal instead before they spoke.

With the win, she tied champion Valentina Shevchenko for the most wins in the division’s history (8) and will likely move into the number one spot in the rankings, above Jessica Andrade, setting her up for a rematch against ‘Bullet’.

But the UFC don’t seem convinced that is the route they want to go in, and with Chookagian out of contract it doesn’t make sense to renew her deal if they don’t intend on giving her a title shot when she’s clearly the top contender.

It’s a dilemma, because at that weight class she is among the best there is but she’s still some way off the champion and that makes her dispensable in the organisations eyes.

UFC Vegas 46: Giga Chikadze can kick himself into title contention

As we enter 2022 and the first card of the year is upon us, there is a new contender on the horizon at 145-pounds and his name is Giga Chikadze.

The Georgian entered 2021 as a hot prospect, but someone who was struggling to really chop down the competition in the UFC.

Sitting at 5-0 in the organisation with four decision wins and one knockout against a super-short notice opponent, people were questioning the ceiling of this striking sensation.

Fast forward through the year though, and Chikadze can be questioned no more.

He started the year getting matched up against the grizzly veteran that is Cub Swanson at UFC Vegas 25 in May.

It was expected to be a close encounter, with many tipping the veteran to be just too much for Chikadze considering his struggles in previous fights with getting a finish.

It took all of 63 seconds for Chikadze to put himself on everyone’s radar though, as a fierce body kick cause Swanson to crumble and then he got the stoppage with some follow up ground and pound.

That set him up for a banger against Edson Barboza in a main event at UFC Vegas 35. Barboza had just come off back-to-back wins over Makwan Amirkhani and then a stoppage win over Shane Burgos at UFC 262.

It was two heavy kickers with fast hands going to war, but ultimately it was a step too far for the veteran Brazilian as Chikadze blitzed him.

Landing heavy body kicks and super fast left hands, Chikadze earned a stoppage victory in the third-round to make it three KO’s in-a-row and earn himself a fight this weekend with Calvin Kattar.

Kattar was arguably one win away from a title shot when he fought Max Holloway last year, but a defeat set him back. Now Chikadze is potentially in a similar situation in the division almost exactly one year later.

With Holloway withdrawing from his title shot at UFC 272 after re-aggravating an injury, it seems as though Korean Zombie is going to fight Alexander Volkanovski for the belt.

If Chikadze is able to earn a win at UFC Vegas 46, he will move into the top five of the division with everyone above him having already fought for the title against Volkanovski, except Yair Rodriguez who is coming off a loss.

Giga Chikadze of Georgia reacts after his TKO victory over Cub Swanson in a featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on May...

While Holloway would still be owed his shot, there would be a solid case for Chikadze to get a go too considering Volkanovski has already beaten Holloway twice.

It will be kicks vs boxing in the Apex, but Chikadze has shown he is a lethal striker in all aspects and if he can continue his finishing streak then he will be able to claim something that even the great Holloway couldn’t.

It’s a huge opportunity for the featherweight division to claim a new top contender, and it’s Chikadze’s position and role to lose.

UFC Vegas 46: Calvin Kattar wants to wind the clock back and start 2022 how he didn’t start 2021

Cast your mind back to the first UFC main event of 2021, and you’ll remember that it was a featherweight contender fight involving Calvin Kattar.

Last year it was in Abu Dhabi on Fight Island and Kattar stood across the octagon from former champion Max Holloway, and what followed was a one-sided beating in which the Hawaiian broke several records on Kattar’s face.

The memorable moment of the night came as Holloway screamed at the commentators that he was the best boxer in the UFC, while stepping back and slipping Kattar’s punches without looking at him.

As the scorecards were read out at the end of the fight, they told a story. It was officially the most one-sided UFC main event in history, as Holloway took a 50-43, 50-43, 50-42 unanimous decision after 25 minutes.

Kattar applauded, then left the octagon for the final time of 2021.

Now he returns for his first outing since that fateful day, in the first main event of 2022 but this time at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas where he will take on Giga Chikadze.

Another main event to open the year, in another fight where a win pushes him closer to the title fight he dreams of.

The opponent is very different this time around. This will be the biggest fight of Chikadze’s career to date, and Kattar would be a scalp to add to his resume after he stopped Cub Swanson at UFC Vegas 25 and Edson Barboza in his first main event fight.

Calvin Kattar holds an open training session for fans and media during UFC Fight Night open workouts at Arbat Hall on November 6, 2019 in Moscow,...

A heavy kicker, Chikadze won’t look to engage in the same way Holloway did and his gas tank has proven to not be as deep as ‘Blessed’s.

But this fight is more for Kattar than just a chance to get back on the horse. It’s an opportunity for him to show that he is still among the elite fighters in the world and has the capability to beat others in that conversation.

His most recent defeat prior to Holloway came against Zabit Magomedsharipov in a three-round main event on short notice, which had it gone a normal five rounds many believe he’d have won. But he didn’t, and that’s what matters.

Kattar must win this fight, not only to get his title aspirations back on track but more importantly to show he deserves to mentioned in the conversation at 145-pounds.

This is his chance to kick 2022 off in the best way possible, and wash away the demons of this exact opportunity that he had in 2021.

Major UFC 272 update, new non-title main event in works – report

The UFC is working on a brand-new non-title main event for UFC 272 between Colby Covington and Jorge Masvidal.

The two welterweight superstars have been going back and forth on social media for a while after a public fall-out between Covington and the American Top Team gym they trained at together for years.

It now seems as though the two will meet in a huge pay-per-view main event on March 5th to settle their differences in the octagon.

The card has already seen changes to the main event, after it was announced that the card would play host to a double-header of title fights with Alexander Volkanovski fighting Max Holloway for the featherweight belt, and Aljamain Sterling fighting Petr Yan in the bantamweight division.

However just days after that announcement, Holloway was forced to withdraw from the fight after re-aggravating a previous injury in training.

All signs point to Chan Sung Jung (The Korean Zombie) stepping into the fight in his place, although this is yet to be confirmed.

It’s now been claimed by MMA Fighting journalist Ariel Helwani that those title fights are set to be moved to April at UFC 273 though, with TKZ recovering from an injury. There is some concern that Sterling would have issues getting cleared to compete in New York though, where UFC 273 is due to be held.

According to the highly reliable Helwani, the UFC 272 card is due to take place in Las Vegas and with the 3/5 date, the UFC have seen it as a marketing dream to have Masvidal fight on the card.

While nothing is confirmed yet and Helwani says “there are a lot of moving parts” he is usually right when it comes to these things.

Covington and Masvidal have both gone 1-2 in their last three fights, with all their defeats coming to champion Kamaru Usman in title fights.

Covington was stopped by Usman back in December 2019 at UFC 245 before being well beaten in a decision rematch at UFC 268 most recently. He beat Tyron Woodley via a fifth-round TKO when Woodley injured his rib at UFC Vegas 11 in between.

Masvidal smashed through Nate Diaz to become BMF champion at UFC 244, before consecutive losses to Usman at UFC 251 on short-notice and then at UFC 261 via second-round knockout – one of the best KO’s of the year.

UFC 272 is due to take place on March 5th 2022, while UFC 273 will take place on April 9th 2022.

Two title fights announced to headline UFC 272

The UFC has announced a double dose of title fights for UFC 272 in March to headline the event in Las Vegas.

Alexander Volkanovski will defend his featherweight championship for a third time when he takes on Max Holloway in their trilogy bout in the main event, in a highly anticipated 145-pound bout.

The co-main event will see the long awaited rematch between bantamweight champion Aljamain Sterling as he takes on interim champ Petr Yan after their first bout in March 2021 at UFC 259.

The featherweight title fight will pit the two best 145-pounders in the world against each other for a third time in a little over two years.

Volkanovski won their first encounter via unanimous decision, using his wrestling to nullify Holloway’s excellent striking and claim a deserved victory. Their rematch at UFC 251 saw a much closer fight, with Volkanovski controversially being rewarded the split decision victory.

He has since defeated Brian Ortega via decision at UFC 266 after one of the best rounds of the year during their five-round main event. Holloway on the other hand has bounced back with two sensational performances against Calvin Kattar at UFC Fight Island 7 and Yair Rodriguez at UFC Vegas 42 to earn another title shot.

Opponents Alexander Volkanovski of Australia and Max Holloway face off prior to their UFC featherweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event...

The co-main will see a highly anticipated rematch between champion Sterling and Yan, after the controversial ending to their bout at UFC 259.

Yan was comfortably winning the fight, before inexplicably landing an illegal knee to the head of Sterling which rendered him unable to continue. ‘Funkmaster’ was crowned the new champion via disqualification, the first instance of a title changing hands via DQ in the companies history.

They were supposed to meet against at UFC 267 in November, but Sterling wasn’t medically cleared following neck surgery and Yan instead fought Cory Sandhagen for the interim title.

Opponents Petr Yan of Russia and Aljamain Sterling face off prior to their UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX...

In one of the fights of the year, Yan was able to come through with an excellent performance and claim the title and setup a rematch with his nemesis.

The card will take place on March 5th 2022 in Las Vegas. The fights were first reported by Brett Okamoto of ESPN following confirmation from UFC president Dana White.

Fights to make in 2022 – Brian Ortega vs Yair Rodriguez

After the absolutely incredible fight year that was 2021, 2022 is promising to be bigger, better and badder than ever before in the UFC.

There will be title fights, shocking upsets, incredible wars and new rivalries created throughout the year, but there are some that already spilling over from this year.

With that, we’re going to name you ten fights that the UFC should make in 2022 at some point to give the fans the ultimate fight experience.

The featherweight division is in a weird, yet fun place right now and it’s in part down to these two fighters.

The title picture looks pretty set, with Alexander Volkanovski set to take on Max Holloway in their trilogy bout at some point in 2022 for their next bout.

Beyond those two at the top is Brian Ortega and Yair Rodriguez who, respectfully, are a safe distance clear of the rest of the division at this current moment in time.

So it makes complete sense to pit them against each other at some point in 2022 to make up for the fact their fight in Mexico City back in 2019 fell out.

Ortega is a submission specialist who has shown greatly improved striking in each of his last two fights against The Korean Zombie at UFC Fight Island 6 and then in his title fight defeat to Volkanovski at UFC 266, despite the defeat.

Rodriguez on the other hand is a striking expert, who came incredibly close to defeating Holloway in their fight at UFC Vegas 42 in November that would have seen him claim the next title fight.

It was his wrestling that let him down in that one, but the power in his striking certainly caused ‘Blessed’ problems which means it would almost definitely do the same to Ortega.

With that said, if ‘T-City’ gets the fight to the ground and can implement his jiu-jitsu skills then it could be over quickly for ‘Pantera’.

It’s a fight that pits two different styles together in a finely balanced bout that would potentially produce the next title challenger too.

Fans win, the division continues to move forward and that’s the most important thing. Make it happen Uncle Dana!

UFC men’s weight classes – Ranked

It’s been a while since the UFC had it’s weight classes as stacked as they currently are across the landscape of the organisation.

With the way MMA is evolving currently, we’re seeing more and more fighters who can do everything to a super high level and that means that amazing fights can show up anywhere on the card, at any time!

But which divisions are the ones to really look out for and which are looking a little slim right now? I’ve ranked them from worst to best.

Light Heavyweight

A division that has just crowned a new champion is usually hard to say that it’s lacking depth, however 205lbs is in the worst state that it’s been for a while.

Teixeira is 42 years old and holds the belt, but beyond Jiri Prochazka, Magomed Ankalaev and Aleksandar Rakic there aren’t many guys in the division who you can see being among the top guys in a few years time.

Unless there’s an influx of talent out of nowhere, then it’s hard to imagine this division attracting many eyes going forward.


The top five in this division is stacked and in Israel Adesanya they have one of the most popular fighters in the world as their champion. But outside of that, the division looks a little stale.

Israel Adesanya reacts after defeating Kelvin Gastelum by unanimous decision in their interim middleweight championship bout during the UFC 236 event...

The top five can all fight each other and have mixed results for the most part, but Adesanya has largely cleaned up by beating four of them convincingly so it’s hard to look beyond him as being a level above the rest.

That makes the division a little less appealing and therefore sits low down on this list.


Flyweight never die! A super exciting division because of the speed of the guys in the division, but outside the top four or five there aren’t many guys that you can consider as contenders.

Moreno looks set to reign for a while after dispatching of Deiveson Figueiredo relatively easily so their rematch at UFC 270 is unlikely to be as eventful as their first two bouts. There are a few contenders beyond that but the lack of finishes in the division doesn’t really help either unfortunately and it’s unlikely you’ll see this division headlining a card on its own any time soon.


The big boys tend to fight at a slow pace and historically don’t make for the most exciting fights, but this new wave of heavyweights is the best in a long time.

Francis Ngannou of Cameroon poses for a portrait after his victory during the UFC 260 event at UFC APEX on March 27, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The top of the division is full of exciting match ups, with the prospect of anyone ending a bout in the blink of an eye adding to the excitement. But on top of that, there are several young prospects coming through such as Tom Aspinall and Chris Daukaus while Ciryl Gane looks formidable too despite his lack of experience.

Don’t forget Francis Ngannou is the champion and could probably KO a horse, while Jon Jones is still waiting in the shadows to debut among the giants too.


This division would likely be even higher up in this list if it wasn’t for the fact that Kamaru Usman is just a level ahead of everyone. He’s beaten everyone there is to beat in his weight class, but the rest of the division is still absolutely stacked.

Covington would be champion in any other era, Leon Edwards has entered new territory with his abilities, Jorge Masvidal is a superstar that has transcended the sport, Gilbert Burns and ‘Wonderboy’ are in the conversation and Sean Brady is climbing his way up the ranks.

Don’t forget Khamzat Chimaev fights in this division too, so that’s always exciting.

Khamzat Chimaev of Chechnya prepares to fight Gerald Meerschaert in their middleweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September...


The top three starts at 145lbs with a division that has at least four guys who could be champion in any era. Alexander Volkanovski has proven he is the man with two wins over Max Holloway, but ‘Blessed’ continues to show he is the gold standard too.

Beyond them this division is home to the likes of Brian Ortega, Yair Rodriguez, Zabit Magomedsharipov, Korean Zombie, Calvin Kattar and now Dan Hooker too.

There a string of exciting fights plus prospects such as Arnold Allen, Giga Chikhadze and veteran Edson Barboza competing at this weight it’s always got fireworks waiting to go off.


This has been considered one of the best divisions in the organisation for a long time and it’s still as stacked as ever.

Dustin Poirier throws an elbow at Justin Gaethje in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at Gila River Arena on April 14, 2018 in...

Charles Oliveira, Dustin Poirier, Islam Makhachev, Justin Gaethje, Michael Chandler, Conor McGregor, Rafael Dos Anjos, Beneil Dariush, Tony Ferguson, Brad Riddell, Rafael Fiziev, Joel Alvarez – the list goes on.

It’s almost impossible to make a bad fight at lightweight right now and they all have huge implications in some way or another. What a division.


Without a doubt in my mind, bantamweight is the place for you to place your attention if you want guaranteed entertainment in the UFC.

Aljamain Sterling is the champion and Petr Yan is interim champ, but the division also possesses the likes of Cory Sandhagen, TJ Dillashaw, Merab Dvalishvili, Rob Font, Jose Aldo in title contention. Then there are veterans like Frankie Edgar, Pedro Munhoz and Dominick Cruz looking to get back into contention.

Opponents Petr Yan of Russia and Aljamain Sterling face off prior to their UFC bantamweight championship fight during the UFC 259 event at UFC APEX...

Then beyond that you have the likes of Marlon Vera, Sean O’Malley, Adrian Yanez, Randy Costa and Song Yadong in the division you could quite easily create a top 30 rather than a top 15. It’s got everything and is comfortably the best division in the UFC right now.

Dan Hooker looking to move back to Featherweight

Dan Hooker has revealed that he is planning to move back down to featherweight after a test run to make weight.

Hooker is currently a top-ten ranked lightweight contender but has last three of his last four bouts in the division after initially going on a run at 155lbs.

‘Hangman’ has previously competed at 145lbs but moved up after suffering defeats to Yair Rodriguez and Jason Knight. He eventually went on a run of seven wins in eight bouts at lightweight, before his most recent run of results.

After wins against all of Ross Pearson, Marc Diakiese, Jim Miller and Gilbert Burns he was defeated by Edson Barboza in 2018. He bounced back from that with wins over James Vick, Al Iaquinta and Paul Felder to enter the top five of the division.

However against the top fighters in the division Hooker has struggled, suffering a decision defeat to Dustin Poirier at UFC Vegas 4 before a first-round KO defeat to Michael Chandler at UFC 257.

He returned to winning ways against Nasrat Haqparast via decision at UFC 266, but took a short-notice bout against Islam Makhachev at UFC 267 and was dominated en route to a first-round submission defeat.

Those defeats have seemingly convinced him to take a look back down at 145lbs, as he revealed in a tweet that he had made the 146lbs limit during a test cut.

The move down to 145lbs could set up a number of top fights for the primary striker with the likes of Max Holloway, Yair Rodriguez, Korean Zombie, Brian Ortega and Calvin Kattar making up the top five behind current champion and teammate Alexander Volkanovski.

Hooker would likely enter against one of those top opponents should he make the final decision to move down in weight again, considering his current ranking in the weight class above.

Holloway looks certain to take on Volkanovski in his next bout for their trilogy title fight, while Ortega and Yair Rodriguez could be matched up having both suffered defeat in amazing bouts against the two top guys in their last outings.

Kattar is scheduled to fight Giga Chikhadze in January, so it’s possible that Hooker could re-debut in the division against the Korean Zombie, who was well beaten by Ortega before dominating Dan Ige last time out. Arnold Allen would also offer up a potential opponent.

2022 looks set to be the start of a new chapter for ‘Hangman’, and one that could have title implications for the New Zealander.

UFC Vegas 42 Fallout: The best is still ‘Blessed’

A very good card turned in one of the fights of the year in the main event after nine knockouts from the first ten fights at UFC Vegas 42.

The card itself had plenty of decent names to call from, but none bigger than ‘Blessed’ Max Holloway who was squaring off against the world number three Yair Rodriguez in a featherweight banger to headline.

The main event delivered a back and forth battle between two of the very best strikers in the UFC, with the former champion coming out on top after a war.

Rodriguez won the first round on many people’s scorecards, using leg kicks that worked so well for Alexander Volkanovski in his first fight with Holloway and landing some big punch combinations too.

Holloway struggled to get into boxing range to use his jab because of the kicks, so started going to the body and trying to push through with kicks of his own to close distance.

It worked, but worked better for him was when he started using his wrestling skills.

A career-high three successful takedowns in the fight were a big help towards what ended up being a unanimous decision win for Holloway, earning a 49-46 from one judge and 48-47 from the other two judges.

It showed that despite being arguably the best boxer in the UFC, Holloway is still one of the most well-rounded fighters in the organisation and he isn’t afraid to go to the well when he feels that he needs to.

A third fight with the champion Volkanovski now seems inevitable, with ‘Blessed’ becoming the clear number one contender with yet another win over one of the division’s elite fighters.

But what this fight proved to anyone who ever doubted him is that Holloway can whether a storm. He can adapt when he isn’t necessarily getting the better of the striking exchanges and he will still try and out-work anyone in front of him.

Another title fight in 2022 beckons for the people’s champion, and it seems inevitable that the belt will be back around his waist sooner rather than later.