What's the story?
Max Holloway has been the Featherweight king for quite some time now and it looks like The Blessed Era is likely to continue for a further period of time, as Holloway successfully defended his 145-pound title in an absolutely classic back-and-forth fight against Brian Ortega in the main event of UFC 231.
In case you didn't know...
Max Holloway won the UFC Featherweight Championship back at UFC 212 by beating former champion Jose Aldo in a title unification bout. Following his triumphant win, Holloway was then expected to defend his title belt against Frankie Edgar at UFC 218, but due to Edgar eventually pulling out of the card, Holloway was once again scheduled to face Jose Aldo in a rematch and defeated the Brazilian for the second time as well.
On the other hand, Brian Ortega has been on a dominant run in the UFC, securing a six-fight winning streak and knocking out Frankie Edgar in impressive fashion at UFC 222.
The heart of the matter
Max Holloway starts the fight in pursuit of Ortega, as he throws some quick early punches. Holloway keeps charging and dominates the fight in the early goings as he continues to land some heavy bombs. Ortega tries to fire back but Holloway sticks to his ground and keeps attacking. Ortega gets in some offence but Holloway is mostly in control, T-City tries to get a takedown but Holloway refuses to go down to the ground as we come to an end of round 1.
Holloway starts off round 2 in a similar fashion and in no time Ortega's nose is busted open thanks to a flurry of punches from the champion. Ortega looks to take the fight to the floor but Holloway seems to have an answer for almost everything. The challenger, though, finds a few openings and is countering properly, no more games for Holloway and he is starting to take things seriously. However, Holloway keeps his composure and his combos are brilliant. Few nice combinations from Holloway here and there and Ortega's face is a mess. A right hand in the closing stages from Ortega but Holloway clearly won that round.
Holloway looks to continue his dominance but Ortega definitely looks fresh and is feeling fresh, presumably. Holloway with a few shots early on but Ortega catches the challenger out of nowhere. For the first time in the fight, the champion is looking a bit shaken up, Holloway is trying his best to defend but Ortega is lively and cutting through real good. Ortega looks for a takedown but Holloway does his best to defend, the challenger is stalking the champion by this point and just won't back down. Holloway though lands some heavy right hands in the closing stages and manages to fight off another takedown to close out the round.
The two trade early jabs, as Holloway is hitting some nice shots and Ortega is getting lit up as well. Holloway has found his rhythm and is connecting good, Ortega tries to hold on for dear life. The champion is landing bombs after bombs and looks for a takedown and a guillotine out of nowhere, however, that didn't work and Holloway goes back to beating the living hell out of Ortega. Holloway keeps on attacking Ortega, whose left eye by this point is looking swollen shut.
The referee eventually ends the fight after the doctor advises Ortega to discontinue. Holloway retains via doctor stoppage.
Following the fight, Holloway noted that he is willing to defend against anyone and everyone and wanted the UFC to host a show in Hawaii. Let's see if the 145-pound champion actually gets his wish. He surely does deserve after that clinical performance.