Dubai: Cain Velasquez v Junior Dos Santos, George St Pierre v Matt Hughes and Frankie Edgar v Gray Maynard: The UFC has already seen some great trilogies and now we have a new one on the cards — Max Holloway v Alexander Volkanovski.
All the talk at the end of an exhilarating night’s action at the Etihad Arena on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi revolved around the most comprehensive performances former champion Holloway delivered to beat one of the most dangerous fighters in the featherweight division, Calvin Kattar.
Despite having been dealt heartbreaking losses to UFC featherweight champion Volkanovski, Holloway put on an MMA masterclass to totally overwhelm Kattar in front of a 2,000-strong audience that were on the edge of their seats the entire 25 minutes of bloody war.
The performance left nobody, not least UFC boss Dana White, in doubt that the Hawaiian was back to his best and deserved a third fight against Volkanovski.
Speaking during the post-fight interview, White said: “I think that people keep doubting Max and (keep asking) is the old Max going to show up, the guy that’s lost a step. A lot of people who we respect and know a lot about the sport picked Kattar to win tonight and let’s give Kattar the respect he deserves; it takes two to make a great fight incredible.
“Tonight, Max fought a bad Dude that a lot of people thought was going to beat him and he went out and treated him like No. 6. He did what he needed to do in spectacular fashion tonight and I think he serves to fight Volkanovski again.”
The thing about trilogies in sport is sheer entertainment, just like the ones on the big screen, like the original Star Wars and Superman movies before they got silly. They are a tangible mix of drama, intensity and action that pits two people with different emotions and abilities into the Octagon. They are adrenalin fuelled and show us just why we love MMA. They are of another level and who can deny that Holloway vs Volkanovski III will not serve up the stuff that the previous two fights did?
White also gave the Fight Island 7 card — which was broadcast to a worldwide audience on ABC, the flagship property of Walt Disney Television — the big thumbs up.
“The whole main card was great,” he said, ”You get the platform to be on network television, on ABC where some of the greatest sportsmen like Muhammad Ali and Sugar Ray Leonard have fought on ABC … I think everybody made the most of the opportunity.”
The UFC will host Fight Island 8 on Wednesday, January 20, the second part of the Fight Island series that will culminate in the Conor McGregor v Dustin Poirier mega-fight on January 24.