Max Holloway calls himself the best boxer in the UFC, but Teddy Atlas thinks he’s the best striker overall in mixed martial arts.
Holloway (23-6 MMA, 19-6 UFC) continued to shatter records when he outlasted Yair Rodriguez this past Saturday at UFC Fight Night 197, becoming the first UFC fighter to reach 3,000 total strikes. Holloway is also the only fighter in UFC history to complete 25 octagon appearances without getting knocked down.
With Holloway continuing to put on clinics in the standup, legendary boxing trainer Atlas was in awe of the former UFC featherweight champion’s repertoire against Rodriguez.
“I didn’t realize how versatile he was and what a complete package,” Atlas said on his show, “THE FIGHT with Teddy Atlas.” “I thought of him almost as a professional boxer, that he’s so good at using his legs, controlling the range, boxing, jabbing, setting combinations up, crisp punches, he can counter you, he can time you, he can go on the mat with you. Oh my God, this guy is the full package. He’s the complete package. He is so loaded, he does it all. He’s an old Swiss army knife. He’s got everything.”
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He continued, “Max is so special, but that was his greatest advantage of why he was able to keep the edge in the fight and win the fight, was that he could do so many other things. He is a great, great striker. I don’t know if anyone in the business is better. I know he’s not as good a puncher maybe as some of the greatest strikers out there. But as far as overall abilities in all the areas, I mean, I don’t know if anyone can really match him when it comes to striking. He was doing everything, but that (striking) was the thing that carried the day.”
Despite his all-out war with Rodriguez, both men managed to escape lengthy time on the sidelines. Rodriguez was handed 45 days with no contact, whereas Holloway was given 30 days in what was one of the best fights of the year.
Photos: Max Holloway through the years
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