Max Holloway’s success in his professional career is mainly attributed to his striking. It got him through elite opponents, including former champion Jose Aldo, Anthony Pettis and Frankie Edgar, which earned him the accolades as both UFC champion and the best featherweight fighter of this era.
What makes things more interesting is that Holloway apparently developed those techniques on his own, particularly for his first seven fights in the UFC when he had no striking coach to work with.
According to him, the first UFC video game helped a great deal.
“You know the UFC game? I’d use Renan Barao and Jose Aldo, and I’d do stuff with them,” he told Joe Rogan in his appearance on the JRE MMA Show. “I’ll be like ‘Holy hell, this works in the game!’ So my friend at the time, Dustin Kimura, he would hold mitts for me, and I’d be like ‘Look, I tried this in the game and it was working. Let’s try it.’ And we did it.
“I figured out (striking) from f—ng the regular UFC game. The first UFC game.”
Holloway says he picked out which techniques would work after trying them out on a controller.
“I would play the video game and be like ‘Oh, look at this.’ I would try the combination, and I’d be like ‘Oh, this kinda works so let’s try it.’
“Why not? It got me that far,” he added.
Holloway dropped the 145-pound title at UFC 245 on Saturday, when he was defeated by Alexander Volkanovski via decision.