It’s not necessarily hyperbolic to call Max Holloway’s unanimous decision victory over Calvin Kattar this past weekend the greatest striking performance in UFC history.
The former featherweight champion landed a record 445 significant strikes over the five-round main event that saw the judges score the lopsided bout 50-43, 50-43, 50-42. It joins Rich Franklin’s UFC 58 win over David Loiseau in 2006 as the most one-sided scorecard in UFC history.
UFC president Dana White was blown away by Holloway’s performance.
“A lot of people whom we all respect and know a lot about this sport picked Kattar to win tonight,” White told reporters in Abu Dhabi following the event. “Let's give Kattar the respect he deserves, too. It takes two to make a great fight. Incredible."
Kattar, who sustained a broken nose in the bout, landed 133 significant strikes of his own but Holloway never appeared hurt in the 25-minute bout.
“If you ain't a Max Holloway fan, you're a hater,” said Kattar, who fell to 22-5 in MMA with his third Fight of the Night performance. “Kid's a beast. Did what he had to do. Good luck to him, and hopefully the champ next, because he deserves another shot.”
Holloway was coming off a contentious split decision July loss to Alexander Volkanovski, the man who previously won the 145-pound title from Holloway. White confirmed Holloway remains firmly in the title picture despite having two losses to the current champion.
Volkanovski is expected to defend his belt against Brian Ortega within the next few months. Holloway’s last title defence was a TKO win over Ortega in 2018.
The co-main featured welterweight veterans Carlos Condit and Matt Brown with the former WEC champion, Condit, getting his hand raised after three bloody rounds.
Also on the main card, underdogs Li Jingliang, Alessio Di Chirico and Punahele Soriano each picked up big first-round stoppage wins.
Here are the complete results from the first UFC event of 2021.
-- Max Holloway def. Calvin Kattar by unanimous decision
-- Carlos Condit def. Matt Brown by unanimous decision
-- Li Jingliang def. Santiago Ponzinibbio by knockout
-- Alessio Di Chirico def. Joaquin Buckley by knockout
-- Punahele Soriano def. Dusko Todorovic by technical knockout
-- Joselyne Edwards def. Wu Yanan by unanimous decision
-- Carlos Felipe def. Justin Tafa by split decision
-- Ramazan Emeev def. David Zawada by split decision
-- Vanessa Melo def. Sarah Moras by unanimous decision
-- Austin Lingo def. Jacob Kilburn by unanimous decision