THE BIG EVENT REPORT CARD
By Ed Emeanua
When former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway was pitted against Arnold Allen inside the UFC Mixed Martial Arts Octagon, most people knew something had to give.
The veteran American fighter was expected to put his vaunted prestige and pride on the line just as his opponent-the Englishman-had to stake his polished fighting winning streak with the undisputable right to brag for a title shot on the bargain.
The Vicious elbow: Max Holloway lands big time on the jaw of Arnold Allen with his elbow during the fight
Holloway did keep his date with Allen Saturday inside the Octagon at Fight Night in Kansas City as planned. When all was said and done, the veteran fighter managed to keep his pride and prestige, but the star rookie had to part ways with his 10-fight winning streak and chance for a title shot.
Holloway was declared victorious by unanimous decision after five rounds of blood and sweat letting for skillfully thwarting the bold style of his opponent. It marked the 23rd win in the UFC career of the former UFC featherweight champion and a dent in the opposition’s prospects of getting a shot at the featherweight crown.
Significantly, the loss extinguished the huge winning run of the Englishman in his best form, which had made him the proud owner of the fourth-lengthy winning stretch of all active UFC fighters. In so losing, it also wiped out the immense opportunity that came with the biggest win of Allen’s career, which was the second-round TKO of Calvin Kattar last October.
On the other hand, Holloway, 31, the top-ranked featherweight fighter and former unified titleholder, by the win notched his 23rd UFC victory, and earned him accolades as the man who handed the once indomitable Allen his first ever UFC defeat.
“Max is one of the best. He’s an inspiration to me – I love the man,” Allen said moments after the bout.
Holloway topped on all the cards with 49-46, 49-46, and 48-47 after effectively neutralizing Allen’s aggression. The fight also made Holloway the first fighter in UFC history to achieve 3000 significant strikes.
Allen tried to up his ante as the fight went nearer the distance and delivered a cut under Holloway’s right eye, but it was too late for him to turn the battle around.