Max Holloway improved to 6-3 inside the Octagon with an impressive performance against Clay Collard, who replaced Mirsad Bektic on late notice at UFC Fight Night 49. Holloway was able to pour it on Collard on the feet, though the youngster looked unfazed by his power punches.
Holloway has been in there with the elite of the featherweight division, and should now earn a step-up in competition with the victory. Collard has now lost five fights in his career, though certainly did not lose any fans after putting in a gutsy performance against a top talent in Holloway.
Here is how the fight played out.
Prospect Max Holloway meets Clay Collard, who replaces Mirsad Bektic on a week’s notice. Holloway fights for the ninth time inside the Octagon after going 5-3. All three of his losses have come against top ranked fighters. Clay Collard is 13-4 (1 NC) and could make a big impression if he gets past Holloway.
Round 1 – Leg kick from Collard. Collard is pushing forward, Holloway landing a knee in the clinch. Head kick from Holloway, who then lands a right hand. Holloway with a body kick, and a combination. Collard pressing the action, left hand lands for Holloway. Knee to the body from Blessed, Colllard pressing forward nonetheless. Collard with nice combinations, and he catches the kick of Holloway, landing a combination. Collard to the body. Holloway mixing it up, landing a combination then getting the trip before standing straight back up. Flying knee then a punching combination from Collard, before a kick to the body. Counter right for Holloway lands, then a spinning back kick. Spinning back kick from Holloway. Collard trying to taunt his opponent. Holloway with a knee to the body. Good combination from Blessed, and a kick up high before a spinning back kick. Collard with a combination. Huge rights from Holloway. He’s hurting Collard. Spinning back kick. Collard in trouble. But he just presses forward trying to land some shots of his own. Fun first round.
Cooper scores round 1 10-9 Holloway.
Round 2 – Both fighters land on that exchange. Collard landing the leg kick at the end of his combos. He’s struggling to find the range, though. Body kick then a knee to the body from Holloway. Another solid right hand from Blessed, but Collard responds with a right of his own. Collard catches the kick, attempts to get it to the mat but he’s unable to make him pay. Great combination by Holloway, who has Collard covering up. Flying knee. Collard sticking in there and pushing forward with combinations. Collard catches the kick and looks for a takedown. He’s unable to get it and they separate from the clinch. Body kick caught by Collard, but Holloway gets him to the ground, getting the back before Collard explodes to get to his feet. Nice exchange. Collard taunting Holloway throughout. Holloway with some solid combinations, landing the high kick also. Collard very gassed. He shoots in and Holloway avoids it, jumping on him and getting the back – now the guard. He’s setting up a triangle on Collard. He may be working on the left arm of Collard too. Collard on top, lands a short elbow after escaping the attack of Holloway. Collard stuck in a triangle and slams Holloway at the end of the round
Cooper scores round 2 10-9 Holloway (20-18 Holloway.
Round 3 – The crowd responding well to this fight. Collard drops dow with a poor TD attempt. Collard pressing the action but Holloway avoiding thusfar. Holloway with a knee to Collard on the ground, that seemed a little dodgy. Holloway on top with 3 minutes remaining in the third round. Holloway has the back, flattening Collard out but unable to sink the choke in. Big shots from Blessed now. Short elbow. Huge elbows landing from Holloway. He’s pouring it on now. These elbows are really hurting Collard. 90 seconds left in the third. He has the back again. Big shots. The referee steps in.
Result: Holloway via TKO (strikes) at 3:47 in third round.
A fun fight, Collard did well considering the short notice, but Holloway improves to win his third in a row.
You can check out the full play-by-play for the event here on Cage Pages. The results for the card, as it stands, can be found below.
Main Card (FOX Sports 1)
Max Holloway def. Clay Collard via TKO (strikes) at 4: in third round.
James Vick def. Valmir Lazaro via unanimous decision (29-28 x2, 30-27).
Chas Skelly def. Tom Niinimaki via submission (rear naked choke) at 2:35 in first round.
Preliminary Card (FOX Sports 2)
Neil Magny def. Alex Garcia via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27 x2).
Beneil Dariush def. Tony Martin via submission (arm triangle choke) at 3:38 in second round.
Matt Hobar def. Aaron Phillips via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).
Ben Saunders def. Chris Heatherly via submission (omoplata) at 2:18 in first round.
Preliminary Card (UFC Fight Pass)
Wilson Reis def. Joby Sanchez via unanimous decision (29-28 x3).