2012 World MMA Featherweight Scouting Report: #7 - Max Holloway

Holloway_medium

Name: 22px-flag_of_the_united_states Max Holloway
Nickname: Lil Evil
Age: 20
Height: 6'0"
Location:
Wai'Anae, Hawaii

One of the highlights of digging through the depths of the talent pool is the discovery of a hidden gem. An unknown talent who either didn't find his way onto our radar or wasn't expected to impress. Ultimately, Hawaii's Max Holloway (4-0) struck his way into our hearts despite his novice status in the sport.

The 20-year-old prospect has recorded four straight wins in two years as a professional fighter, beating notable WEC veteran Harris Sarmiento (33-23) in only his third fight. Constantly the underdog against more experienced or bigger fighters, Holloway has impressively overcame adversity at every stop, showcasing an endless gas tank and a swarming stand-up game.

Holloway's six-foot frame would normally indicate that he's a rangy fighter, but that couldn't be further from the truth. While Holloway possesses the skills to work from distance, he's much more prone to stalking his opposition, unpredictably mixing standing elbows, flying knees, and spurts of violence together to effectively brutalize opponents. If that weren't enough, his output runs at a blistering pace, making it tough for his opposition to breathe or avoid being struck.

Defensively, Holloway is a tough man to hit. His head movement and evasion tactics have improved considerably since his amateur days, and his quickness in the pocket allows him to avoid heavy blows. He is open to being countered, however, due to his aggressive style of fighting, but his granite chin has helped him recover quickly when he's been rung.

In order to support such a high output, Holloway is obviously a well-conditioned athlete. To get a sense of how well he's been conditioned, take a look at his bout with Harris Sarmiento. The output that Holloway displays in the first round is equal to what we see in the fifth round. There are very few fighters on the planet who possess that large of a gas tank.

Sounds too good to be true, huh? Holloway isn't without weaknesses. In particular, Holloway has been victimized by better wrestlers. His takedown defense is an area of concern, and it's even more concerning when we think about how his aggressive style may leave him open to takedowns. Improvements in his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and wrestling will shore those areas up, along with continued excursions to training camps stateside. Hopefully, he can leverage his relationship with UFC veteran Jeremy Stephens, who brought Holloway in to mimic Anthony Pettis.

Holloway needs to fight better competition to truly see where he stands, but the most obvious area he can improve is on the ground. Most opponents will try to avoid his high output offense on the feet, and he'll find himself defending against the controlling wrestler more often than not if he makes his way stateside. His lengthy frame should help him in that department. If he can improve there and get a few more wins, there's no reason why the UFC or Bellator wouldn't want this lightning in a bottle in their line-up.


Check out more video footage of Max Holloway after the jump...

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Scouting_report_medium

Max Holloway vs. Bryson Kamaka
X-1 Island Pride - November 6, 2010.

Max Holloway vs. Travis Beyer
Beyer apparently missed weight, but Max accepted the bout as an exhibition.

Max Holloway vs. Paul Lopez

Max "Lil' Evil" Holloway vs Andrew Costellano

Corey Rosa vs. Max Holloway

Max Holloway vs Corey Mcdonald

Max Holloway vs Chad Zurfluh
Holloway's first loss

A lot more footage of Holloway exists on Youtube of his Muay Thai days in Hawaii and early BJJ matches of his career.

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