Did Max Holloway tutor Brian Ortega DURING their UFC 231 fight?
Max Holloway’s performance against Brian Ortega at UFC 231 was one of the most technically sublime in recent memory. The Hawaiian was brutally efficient with his striking, landing over 300 strikes on his previously undefeated opponent and cementing himself as one of the pound-for-pound best in MMA.
If that wasn’t enough to demonstrate his dominance, it also appears that Holloway may have even been offering his helpless opponent striking advice during the unrelenting onslaught of offence. Deep into a fourth round where Holloway would land nearly 150 strikes on Ortega, he momentarily appears to stop and force his opponent to put his hands up.
This video from Twitter user Rob Brown certainly appears to echo that sentiment, with Holloway grabbing Ortega’s wrist and pushing it back into a defensive position, before throwing a seemingly deliberately slow left hook.
However, this clip sparked a debate online when it was posted, with some users adamant that Holloway intended to use the wrist control to land an elbow, but ultimately abandoned it when Ortega managed to retract his arm. One of these people is UFC lightweight contender Dan Hooker.
Another user then decided to tell the New Zealand-born fighter that his analysis was incorrect, and Hooker responded authoritatively that what he was saying was fundamentally true.
He's blasts him with a straight cross from wrist control then grabs it again to elbow him. I'm not speculating, I'm telling you.
— Dan Hangman Hooker (@danthehangman) January 6, 2019
Regardless of what happened in this clip, Holloway’s performance at UFC 231 has led to an unprecedented level of hype around the UFC Featherweight Champion. ‘Blessed’ isn’t short for competition at his current weight class, Alexander Volkanovski’s impressive win over Chad Mendes at UFC 232 has catapulted the Australian into title contention at 145lbs, but it is believed by many, including UFC president Dana White that Holloway will move to lightweight for his next bout.
One of the most intriguing fights, both financially and technically available to Holloway at 155lbs is a rematch with Conor McGregor. The pair were both relatively inexperienced during their first fight in 2013, whereas a fight between the two now could essentially crown the best striker in the UFC.