Max Holloway replaced an injured Cody McKenzie to fight Leonard Garcia on the UFC 155 Facebook prelims. After 3 rounds, Holloway picked up the split decision (29-28 x 2, 28-29) over Gracia. Holloway (7-1) improved his record as a UFC Featherweight to 4-1, while Garcia's (15-10-1) sole UFC win in 5 fights remains the highly controversial decision over Nam Phan.
As expected, Garcia did his best to counter Holloway's technical striking acumen with a relentless pace and pressure in the form of wild, looping punches. He paid for it early in the first, when Max dropped him with a solid left counter. Garcia recovered and just kept coming forward. It took Holloway til the 3rd round before he really found his timing and started reeling off punches while dodging Garcia's wild hooks. Some saw the decision as controversial, but it was a close fight that could have easily gone either way.
What was the high point of this fight?
In the closing seconds of the fight, Garcia was in Holloway's guard on the mat. As Max tried to control Garcia's posture, Leonard lifted him in the air for a Rampage/Arona style slam.
Where do they go from here?
Despite the close decision, a win on just over a week's notice is always impressive. With 4 wins in 5 fights, it's time for Holloway to get a top 25 fighter. Someone like Bart Palaszewski should fit the bill.
Leonard Garcia has only a single win in the UFC in what's considered a complete robbery by most MMA fans. However, Dana White already said at UFC 155 post-fight press conference that he won't be cut after this loss. So, who knows what they do with him from here? Maybe reschedule the fight with McKenzie after Cody heals.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Watch it later. It's a typical Garcia brawl, so the action is there and it's worth a look if you want to weigh in on the judging discussion.