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What’s next for UFC on FOX 15’s Max Holloway?

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UFC on FOX 15 was a fight card littered with exciting performances from fighters entering different phases of their respective careers. One of those fighters was young Max Holloway. The 23-year-old Hawaiian has become a UFC veteran right in front of our eyes since his debut against Dustin Poirier in early 2012. He’s remained one of the most active fighters in the promotion since. He extended his win streak to six after submitting Cub Swanson via a vicious guillotine in New Jersey on Saturday night, which has upped his record to 9-3 in just over 3 years time.

Holloway’s constant pressure and impressive head movement accompanied by his wide array of attacks would reduce an elite fighter like Swanson to nothing more than a one punch KO threat as the fight wore on. This is the type of performance that earns fighters title shots. The problem is that the biggest fight in this divisions history goes down this summer when featherweight champion Jose Aldo takes on Conor McGregor for all of the marbles on July 11th in Las Vegas. Should Aldo win, don’t expect a quick turnaround. Aldo hasn’t fought more than twice in a year since 2010 and if he beats McGregor he may even vacate the belt to move up to lightweight. Should McGregor win, you can count on an immediate rematch for Aldo, the division could be tied up for another year.

During the UFC on FOX 15 post-fight press conference, after earning another performance of the night bonus, his second in three fights, Holloway requested that the UFC take the octagon to Hawaii. With multiple Hawaiian born fighters on the roster, Holloway is more than worthy of headlining the first ever card in the Aloha State. Our job is to find him a worthy dance partner.

After finishing Swanson, the official UFC.com rankings have Holloway moving up three spots from #6 to #9 in their featherweight rankings – right below Swanson who remains at #5. We’ll go ahead and put him at #5 if that’s alright with you guys. That gives us three options for Holloway for his next fight.

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Holloway is a much different fighter than the one that lost a close split decision to Bermudez back in 2013

Bermudez defeated Holloway back at UFC 160 a couple of years back via split decision. It was a close fight for the first two rounds but Bermudez sealed the deal in the third with his takedowns and ground and pound. After defeating Holloway, Bermudez would extend his win streak to 7 with victories over Jimy Hettes and Clay Guida before falling to Ricardo Lamas late last year at UFC 180. He’s currently scheduled to face Jeremy Stephens this summer on the Aldo-McGregor card making this an unlikely rematch in the near future unless an untimely injury should occur.

manila-faber-edgar

Urijah Faber vs. Frankie Edgar winner

Two of the biggest stars in the history of the lighter weight divisions will throw down in a superfight in Manila next month and the winner could see himself in line for a shot at the title. I’d rather see the winner take on Holloway.

Edgar isn’t very far removed from losing 3 consecutive title fights; Faber is 0-6 in title fights since 2008. A true #1 contenders bout between the winner of Edgar versus Faber and Max Holloway would be what’s best for the division moving forward in 2015.

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Chad ‘Money’ Mendes

Just like his Team Alpha Male mates (Dillashaw not included), Mendes wins every single fight that doesn’t involve a world title. He’s essentially been doing Jose Aldo’s dirty work by taking out contenders left and right. He could do it again if he’s fed Max Holloway. This would be a great fight to headline any upcoming Fight Night card on FS1; preferably in Hawaii for Holloway’s sake – he’ll need every advantage he can get.

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