Sunday, December 11, 2016

Holloway wins interim UFC featherweight title

An interim belt will have to suffice for now for Waianae’s Max Holloway.

Holloway joined B.J. Penn as the only fighters from Hawaii to win a UFC world title with a third-round TKO of Anthony Pettis in the main event of UFC 206 on Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.

Holloway, whose 10-fight win streak ties Royce Gracie for the fifth-longest in UFC history, was awarded the interim 145-pound featherweight title.

He is expected to unify the belts against champion Jose Aldo in a fight next year and wasted no time just moments after the victory over Pettis to call out Aldo.

“Meet me in Brooklyn in February,” an-amped up Holloway yelled to the crowd. “Let’s get the (expletive) real (world title).”

Holloway improved to 17-3 overall and 13-3 in the UFC by becoming the first fighter to finish Pettis (19-6, 6-5) in 25 professional bouts.

Pettis, who failed to make the 145-pound weight limit and was forced to give up 20 percent of his fight purse to Holloway, refused to touch gloves when Holloway extended his hand before the fight. Holloway earned a performance of the night bonus of $50,000.

After a close first round, Holloway took control with an early knockdown in the second round and poured it on from there.

Holloway scored two takedowns in the third round and then finished the fight with a series of punches to the face and body that forced Pettis to turtle up against the cage.

Referee Yves Lavigne stopped the fight at the 4:50 mark of round 3.

Pettis said after the fight he broke his right hand early in the first round. He also said he will move back up to lightweight (155 pounds) because the weight cut is too tough.

“Max Holloway is a beast. Give the dude credit,” Pettis said. “He stepped in there and did his thing.”

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