The UFC makes it’s way to Kansas City for a huge Fight Night card, headlined by the top of the featherweight division as Max Holloway takes on Arnold Allen in the main event.
Holloway hasn’t fought since his latest title shot against Alexander Volkanovksi ended in defeat back in July 2022, while Allen will be keen to claim a huge win to put himself into title contention for the first time in his career.
Last time out at UFC 287 we went 8/12 with three perfect picks, moving us up to 866/1339 (64.68%) with 355 perfect picks (40.99%). You can see our full pick history here.
We’ll look to improve on that here as we break down the big featherweight bout and make our picks for the main event.
Recent fight history
Considered by many to be one of the best featherweight fighters of all time, “Blessed” has had a tough time recently having lost four of his last seven fights.
A move up to lightweight back in 2019 saw him lose to Dustin Poirier and snap his 13-fight win streak, before a return to 145lbs saw him defend his title against Frank Edgar.
He then lost the first of his trilogy bouts against Volkanovski before losing the rematch controversially too, but then he earned a third bout by defeating Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez in back-to-back fights.
Allen on the other hand comes into this fight in incredible form, having won each of his last 12 fights including all ten of his bouts in the UFC.
Most recently he has earned himself plenty of attention with a decision victory over Sodiq Yussuf, before knocking out Dan Hooker in the first-round and following that up with a TKO win over Calvin Kattar due to a knee injury.
Stylistically this fight is set to be a really, really exciting bout.
Holloway is one of the best boxers in the UFC with fantastic volume and jabs to go with a great shot selection.
His defence isn’t the greatest, but his chin has never let him down as he remains the fighter with the most UFC bouts to have never been knocked down in a fight.
He’s also got some decent wrestling in his back pocket too as he showed against Yair Rodriguez in that vital win, while his kicking game has improved tremendously.
“Blessed” is arguably the man with the best gas tank in the organisation too, and is one of the very best when it comes to weaponising it.
Allen on the other hand is a very well-rounded fighter with great power in his hands, but also some very good wrestling skills that allow him to control opponents from top position.
His cardio is also excellent and he is riding the wave of momentum, but Holloway is comfortably the best fighter he has come up against before.
This is a very classic case of power vs volume in the striking realm.
Holloway hits like no other, with over 4 significant strikes per minute on average in his fights and he is constantly moving forward to force his opponent backwards.
Allen simply can’t keep up with that on the feet, so his best chance will be to claim takedowns and use his power. But Holloway’s takedown defence is potentially some of the best ever, and even when he does go down he’s able to pop back up fairly quickly.
That means Allen will likely be holding out on Holloway slowing down a bit (which won’t happen) or landing a big enough shot that he can hurt him and then pounce.
We’ve just never seen that happen to Holloway though.
Against Poirier at 155 the power advantage was huge but he never stopped coming forward, and he got completely outclassed by Volkanovski last time out but Allen is nowhere near that level yet.
Realistically unless Holloway has got worse following the defeat to Volkanovski almost a year ago, or Allen has improved drastically since beating Kattar, then this fight is “Blessed’s” to lose over 25 minutes.
PICK – Max Holloway via Decision