INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- There can be little doubt left that Max Holloway has forced his way into the elite of the featherweight division.
That marks nine wins in a row for Holloway (16-3) since a 2013 decision loss to current champion Conor McGregor.
Holloway set the tone in the opening round, pushing the pace, moving forward, and landing punches in bunches. One particularly flurry, which finished with a knee in the clinch, would have finished a fighter less durable than Lamas, a former title challenger. Holloway finished the round with a spinning back kick which caught Lamas flush in the jaw.
In the second, Holloway continued the onslaught, and he may have finished Lamas with a mid-round sequence had he not gotten sloppy and gotten tagged with a couple counters. In the final minute, Lamas pushed forward and walked right into a choke.
Holloway didn't come close to finishing in the final round, but Lamas could never get untracked.
"He wanted to bang," said Holloway. "He said 'let's bang bro," so I did it."
Lamas (16-5) has dropped two of his past three fights