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Dana White: Max Holloway wanted to ‘prove that he could walk through’ Jose Aldo

UFC 210 photos
Dana White discussed Max Holloway’s UFC 218 win over Jose Aldo.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Max Holloway didn’t just want to beat Jose Aldo, in the opinion of Dana White. Holloway wanted to dominate him.

White, the UFC president, said he saw something noticeable in Holloway’s gameplan against Aldo at UFC 218 on Saturday night in Detroit. A killer instinct. Holloway wanted to prove something in White’s estimation.

“Incredible,” White sad. “The way he fought tonight, the way he walked him down, tried to break him mentally and physically was incredible. He looked like a stud tonight and was willing to put himself in harm’s way. He got hit with some big shots he didn’t need to get hit with either, just to prove that he could walk through him. It was badass.”

Holloway turned up the heat on Aldo in the third round and finished on the ground with violent punches and elbows. It was very similar to Holloway’s third-round TKO victory over Aldo to win the UFC featherweight title at UFC 212 back in June. Aldo did very well early, even won a round or two. But as the fight wore on, Holloway grew stronger and Aldo could not keep up with the constant pressure.

Holloway, who made his first title defense Saturday, said afterward that he wanted to drag Aldo once again into “deep waters” and that Aldo would “drown” there. The Hawaiian star was not wrong. Aldo landed some hard punches in all three rounds, and two judges had him winning one of the first two rounds at UFC 219. But Holloway poured it on in the third and, once again, Aldo had no answer for it.

Afterward, Holloway was asked at the press conference about a potential rematch with Conor McGregor. Holloway lost to McGregor by unanimous decision in 2013 and has not been defeated since, a string of 12 straight victories. McGregor has since won the featherweight title, won the lightweight belt, vacated the featherweight title and boxed Floyd Mayweather in one of the biggest combat sports events of all time.

Holloway said if that rematch does not come to fruition, it’ll be because of McGregor’s team — not him.

White said candidly that he is not sure if McGregor vs. Holloway would happen again, nor does he know if we’ll ever see McGregor back in the UFC. If he does, first up for him would have to be a lightweight title defense against interim champ Tony Ferguson.

“Who knows if Conor is even gonna fight again,” White said. “I’m rolling like he’s not. So, yeah. If Conor comes back and defends the title, anything is possible.”

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