ROUNDTABLE: Is Max Holloway the greatest featherweight of all-time?

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Is Max Holloway the greatest featherweight of all time? If not Holloway, then who is?

David McGrath, Host – MMATorch Today Podcast

My initial response is to say Jose Aldo because of his ten year run through WEC and the UFC. But how can I deny Max Holloway, especially being 2-0 against Aldo and finishing him? Max is the greatest featherweight of all time. 13 fight winning streak. He faced all of the top competition and finished most of them. He has had an incredible five-year run. My only question is if Holloway moves up and wins a title at another division, where does that put him in the all time pound for pound list?

Sean Covington, Columnist – Covington’s Corner

It’s still Jose Aldo for me going back all the way to WEC. Aldo only has four losses, three of which came pretty recently. Before losing to Conor McGregor, Aldo hadn’t lost in ten years! Jose Aldo also managed to avoid the sudden collapse most fighters go through after they crossover to the UFC. Max Holloway may have beaten Aldo twice but he needs to avenge his loss against Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier to become the GOAT.

Frank Hyden, Columnist – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Well, it’s either Holloway or Jose Aldo. I lean more towards Aldo because of his 10-year unbeaten streak, but it’s certainly close. I know Holloway has beaten Aldo twice, but I don’t think that takes away from what Aldo did. It’s very likely that Holloway surpasses Aldo eventually but I don’t think he’s quite there yet. There’s no particular number of wins that Holloway needs to pass Aldo but I think another couple and then you’re talking. That’s when it gets undeniable. I lean Aldo but it’s close, it’s really close.

Cole Henry, Live Events Reporter

That is a tough question to answer. Max Holloway has notable wins over Cub Swanson, Charles Oliveira, Ricardo Lamas, Brian Ortega, Anthony Pettis, Jeremy Stephens, and Jose Aldo. He has won 16 of 19 fights in the UFC and he is the current and defending champion. Another point in his favor is that he has two wins over the only other option for featherweight Goat, that being Jose Aldo. Aldo has notable wins over lots of notable fighters, but he has two losses to Holloway and that usually settles the discussion over who is better. But this case is a bit different. Aldo in “fighters’ years” is much older than Holloway, and in fact, had already won his first World Championship by the time Holloway even made his debut. So, when taking that into account I am not sure that we ever saw a prime Aldo vs. a prime Holloway but we still saw what we saw. Before I go on rambling for hours, I’ll say that for as good as Aldo was, Holloway just seems better. They are both capable strikers, and grapplers but Aldo has been plagued with cardio issues over the years whereas Holloway seems to have an endless gas tank. Somewhere amongst the words written above, you will find my reasons for saying that yes, Max Holloway is the greatest featherweight of all time and it is possible that we are only witnessing the beginning of what he will eventually accomplish.


Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch Managing Editor

If you want to play the MMA Math game, Conor McGregor is the greatest featherweight of all-time. He holds wins over Jose Aldo and Max Holloway, something no other fighter can claim. But the fact that McGregor abandoned the division after winning the championship somewhat hurts his case. Aldo’s run was impressive, and he seemed unbeatable at times but the level of competition at featherweight wasn’t what it is now for much of that run. Holloway ran the gauntlet before he even had a sniff at the championship. So when you take his run post-McGregor into account along with the fact that he holds two decisive wins over Aldo, you have to go with Max Holloway as the greatest featherweight fighter of all-time.


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