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Is Max Holloway really the greatest UFC featherweight of all time?

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Roar Rookie
30th July, 2019
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UFC featherweight champ Max Holloway strengthened his claim as the division’s greatest ever fighter by adding another stellar victory to his resume on Sunday afternoon when he defeated Frankie Edgar in a one-sided bout.

During the fight, analyst Joe Rogan referred to Holloway as the greatest UFC featherweight in UFC history, doubling down on comments he made last year.

“He’s the baddest motherf*****. I think he’s the best 145er ever,” Rogan claimed on an episode of his podcast in 2018.

“The way he fights, the Octagon IQ that he shows, his fight IQ, his ability to find a weakness and see it, his predatory behaviour inside the Octagon, I think he’s the best. I really do. It’s so impressive to me.”

The 27-year-old has won 14-straight fights at featherweight, capturing the UFC championship and recording impressive knockout wins against Brian Ortega Jose Aldo and Anthony Pettis along the way.

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Holloway’s boasts divisional records for the longest winning stream, most wins and most stoppages.

His dominance of the featherweight division was perhaps overshadowed in April when Dustin Poirier beat him in a lightweight bout for the interim strap, but some, including Rogan, argue the lost had little impact on Holloway’s claim to the title of the greatest featherweight of all time.

Several other names arise in the conversation, most notably the only other two featherweight champions in history, Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor.

Aldo, once considered the pound-for-pound best in the world by some, became the division’s inaugural champion in 2010 and remained champion until 2015. He was undefeated for close to ten years and has beaten Chad Mendes and Frankie Edgar twice in the UFC. The Brazilian has nine title defences, three as WEC champion, which is the most in UFC featherweight history.

More recently the 32-year-old record has been tarnished with knockout losses to both Holloway and McGregor as well as a decision loss to Australian Alexander Volkanovski.

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With wins over both Holloway and Aldo, some debate megastar Conor McGregor has the strongest argument as the greatest featherweight of all time.

Despite not fighting at 145 pounds since 2015, the Irishman holds a perfect 7-0 record in the division, having knockout out all but one opponent. His most notable wins coming against Chad Mendes, Dustin Poirier, Dennis Silva, and of course Jose Aldo and Max Holloway.

However, McGregor never defended his title and was subsequently stripped in 2016 following his two fights with Nate Diaz and lightweight title bout with Eddie Alvarez.

It seems as though McGregor’s career at featherweight is over, with the 31-year-old a mainstay in the 155-pound division despite fighting there only twice. With Holloway and Aldo still competing at featherweight, adding wins to their recognised records will only strengthen their positions as the best ever.

All three fighters have impressive resumes at 145 pounds. For the time being the title of greatest UFC featherweight of all time is still up for debate.