Last Saturday, Hawaii’s Max Holloway ventured into Rio de Janeiro’s Jeunesse Arena for a showdown with undisputed featherweight champ and Brazilian hero Jose Aldo. Though he experienced a patch of adversity early on, Holloway surged back in the third round, ultimatately stopping his legendary foe with a storm of punches.
Holloway now sits proudly on the UFC featherweight throne. Though he will certainly have his work cut out for him with contenders like Frankie Edgar and Cub Swanson on the horizon, his looks like it could become a fairly dominant reign.
For Aldo, however, there is much less cause for optimism. Riding one of the worst performances of his career, and getting older by the day, his future is shrouded in uncertainty. In fact, many fans seem to be suggesting he has reached the end of the road.
According to Holloway, however, the vanquished Brazilian deserves nothing but respect. The new champion praised his recent foe in an eloquent, Wednesday-morning post to Instagram.
“Losing is part of this fight game. Saturday night takes nothing away from his legacy. This is a guy who would show up to his gym sometimes without eating in the last day because he was so damn poor. This is a guy who built the 45 division and became king. This is a guy who found motivation to keep earning what he already had. He defended his throne. For a decade. For honor. For his team. For his countrymen. This is a guy who didn’t start at pole position in this world and look at what he achieved. Brazil needs to celebrate that man. Acai with powered milk and cashews for everyone. He’s a GOAT, and his story will always be an inspiration to me and people of Hawaii. Obrigado, [Jose Aldo] Obrigado.”
What do you think of these words from the new champion Max Holloway?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/7/2017.