Jerome Max Keli'i Holloway (born December 4, 1991) is an American mixed martial artist competing in the Featherweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) where he is a former UFC Featherweight Champion. As of June 30, 2020, he is #10 in the UFC men's pound-for-pound rankings and #1 in the UFC featherweight rankings.
Holloway is of Native Hawaiian and Samoan ancestry. He graduated from Waianae High School in 2010, where he began to learn kickboxing. Max currently trains out of Gracie Technics Honolulu and Legacy Muay Thai. He also gets his strength training out of Tactical Strength and Conditioning under Coach Darin Yap.
Mixed martial arts career
Early MMA career
At the age of 19, Holloway had amassed a record of 4-0. He gained recognition as the #7 featherweight prospect of 2012 in Bloody Elbow's 2012 World MMA Scouting Report and has even been compared to former UFC and former WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, due to his ability to incorporate a wide array of flying and spinning kicks, knees and elbows into his striking game.
His early career was highlighted by a split decision win over former Strikeforce and WEC veteran Harris Sarimento on March 12, 2011, earning himself the lightweight strap for the Hawaii-based X-1 promotion.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Holloway was the youngest fighter on the UFC roster when he made his promotional debut as an injury replacement for Ricardo Lamas at UFC 143 on February 4, 2012, against Dustin Poirier. He lost the fight via submission (mounted triangle armbar) in the first round.
In his second fight, Holloway faced Pat Schilling on June 1, 2012, at The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale. After a dominant performance where he almost finished Schilling several times, Holloway won via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Holloway defeated Justin Lawrence, on August 11, 2012, at UFC 150. Holloway won the fight via TKO in the second round after dropping Lawrence with a punch to the body and finishing with a flurry of more punches.
Holloway faced Dennis Bermudez on May 25, 2013, at UFC 160. He lost the fight controversially via split decision. 11 out of 11 media members scored the fight in favor of Holloway.
Holloway faced Conor McGregor on August 17, 2013, at UFC Fight Night 26. He lost the fight via unanimous decision.
Holloway faced promotional newcomer Will Chope on January 4, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 34. Holloway swarmed on his opponent and won the fight via TKO in the second round. The win also earned Holloway his first Knockout of the Night bonus.
Holloway faced Andre Fili on April 26, 2014, at UFC 172. He won the back-and-forth fight after wobbling Fili and submitting him in the third round.
Holloway was expected to face Mirsad Bektić on August 23, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 49, replacing an injured Ernest Chavez. In turn, Bektic pulled out of the bout in the week leading up to the event and was replaced by promotional newcomer Clay Collard. Holloway outstruck his opponent and won the fight via TKO in the third round.
Holloway once again served as a replacement and faced Akira Corassani on October 4, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 53, filling in for Chan Sung Jung. He won the fight via knockout in the first round. The win also earned Holloway his first Performance of the Night bonus award.
Holloway faced Cole Miller on February 15, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 60. Holloway won the bout via dominant unanimous decision.
Holloway faced Cub Swanson on April 18, 2015, at UFC on Fox 15. After out-striking Swanson through the first two rounds, Holloway finished the fight with a mounted guillotine in the third round. The win also earned Holloway his second Performance of the Night bonus award.
Holloway faced Charles Oliveira on August 23, 2015, at UFC Fight Night 74. He won the fight via TKO in the first round after Oliveira suffered an apparent neck/shoulder injury while defending a takedown and was unable to continue. The injury was later described as a micro-tear in his esophagus, although the UFC later released a statement clarifying that Oliveira had no major injuries. With the win, Holloway became the youngest fighter in UFC history to get 10 wins.
Holloway faced Jeremy Stephens on December 12, 2015, at UFC 194. Holloway won the fight via a lopsided unanimous decision.
Holloway faced Ricardo Lamas on June 4, 2016, at UFC 199. He won the thrilling fight via unanimous decision.
Holloway faced Anthony Pettis for the interim UFC Featherweight Championship on December 10, 2016, at UFC 206. At the weigh-ins, Pettis came in at 148 lbs., three pounds over the featherweight limit of 145 lbs. for a championship fight. As a result, in the event that Pettis were to win the fight with Holloway, he would be ineligible for the UFC championship. Pettis was also fined 20% of his purse, which went to Holloway and the bout proceeded at a catchweight. Through a barrage of punches Holloway won the fight via TKO in the third round and was awarded a Performance of the Night bonus.
Holloway faced the featherweight champion José Aldo in a title unification bout on June 3, 2017, at UFC 212. After facing some early adversity, Holloway found his way into the fight and defeated Aldo via TKO in the third round. He earned his first Fight of the Night bonus award for the bout.
On October 4, 2017, Holloway revealed that he had signed a new multi-fight deal with UFC. Holloway was expected to face Frankie Edgar on December 2, 2017, at UFC 218; however, on November 8, 2017, Edgar was pulled from the card due to injury and was replaced by José Aldo. The fight played out similar to the first fight, with slight adjustments each athlete made. The fight was relatively close in the first half though Holloway was again able to turn up the pressure and gain the upper hand in the second half. Holloway won the fight via TKO in the third round and retained the UFC Featherweight belt.
The bout with Edgar was rescheduled and was expected to take place on March 3, 2018, at UFC 222. On February 3, 2018, it was announced that Holloway had to pull out of the fight with Edgar due to a leg injury.
On April 1, 2018, Holloway was announced as a late replacement for the injured Tony Ferguson in a fight for the vacant undisputed UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 223 against Khabib Nurmagomedov to be held on April 7, 2018. If victorious, Holloway would be only the second fighter (behind Conor McGregor) in UFC history to hold titles in two different divisions simultaneously. Holloway, who had no fight scheduled and was not in a training camp, accepted the fight with only six days to prepare. On April 6, as he was due to weigh in, Holloway was pulled from the card by New York State Athletic Commission doctors due to the severity of his short notice weight cut. The bout continued with Al Iaquinta as a last minute replacement for Holloway.
Holloway was then scheduled to defend his UFC Featherweight Championship title on July 7, 2018, at UFC 226 against Brian Ortega. However, on July 4, Holloway was pulled from the fight due to "concussion like symptoms".
For his second title defense, Holloway faced Brian Ortega in the main event at UFC 231 in Toronto, Canada on December 8, 2018. Holloway started the fight off with an excellent lead. After some courageous resistance from Ortega, he poured an enormous amount of punches upon the challenger, ultimately winning the fight via TKO at the end of fourth round by doctor stoppage. This win earned him the Fight of the Night and Performance of the Night awards. Holloway broke the record for most significant strikes in one fight with 290, broke the record for landing 134 of those significant strikes in a round, and set the record for most victories in UFC featherweight history with fifteen.
Holloway faced Dustin Poirier in a rematch for the Interim UFC Lightweight Championship on April 13, 2019, at UFC 236. He lost the fight via unanimous decision. This fight earned him the Fight of the Night award.
A bout against Frankie Edgar was scheduled a third time and eventually took place on July 27, 2019 in the main event at UFC 240. Holloway won the fight via unanimous decision, successfully defending his Featherweight title for a third time.
In his fourth title defense, Holloway faced Alexander Volkanovski on December 14, 2019 at UFC 245. He lost the fight via unanimous decision.
Holloway was slated to rematch Volkanovski for the UFC Featherweight Championship on July 12 at UFC 251. Alexander Volkanovski vs. Max Holloway Rematch Targeted for UFC 251. In which Max lost in a controversial split decision. With two judges scoring the fight 48-47 in favor of Volkanovski and one judge scoring it 48-47 in favor of Max. After the fight UFC President Dana White said he believed Max had won the fight and that something had to be done about the “bad judging” in the sport.
Holloway has one son, Rush Holloway.
Championships and accomplishments
- Ultimate Fighting Championship
- Interim UFC Featherweight Championship (One time)
- UFC Featherweight Championship (One time)
- Three successful title defenses
- Knockout of the Night (One time) vs.Will Chope
- Fight of the Night (Three times) vs. José Aldo, Brian Ortega and Dustin Poirier
- Performance of the Night (Four times) vs. Akira Corassani, Cub Swanson, Anthony Pettis and Brian Ortega
- First American to win the UFC Featherweight Championship
- Tied-second longest winning streak in UFC history (13)
- Longest winning streak in UFC Featherweight division history 
- Most wins in UFC featherweight division (16)
- Most KO/TKO wins in UFC featherweight division (8)
- Most strikes landed in a fight in UFC history (+307 vs. Brian Ortega)
- X-1 World Events
- X-1 Lightweight Championship (One time)
- World MMA Awards
- 2017 Charles 'Mask' Lewis Fighter of the Year
- UFC/MMA 'Fighter of the Year' 2017 - Top 5 List #1
- 2017 Fighter of the Year
- Pundit Arena
- 2017 Fighter of the Year
- 2017 Fighter of the Year
- 2017 Fighter of the Year
- 2018 Performance of the Year
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|27 matches||21 wins||6 losses|
|Loss||21–6||Alexander Volkanovski||Decision (split)||UFC 251||July 12, 2020||5||5:00||Yas Island, Adu Dabi||For the UFC Featherweight Championship.|
|Loss||21–5||Alexander Volkanovski||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 245||December 14, 2019||5||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Lost the UFC Featherweight Championship.|
|Win||21–4||Frankie Edgar||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 240||July 27, 2019||5||5:00||Edmonton, Alberta, Canada||Defended the UFC Featherweight Championship.|
|Loss||20–4||Dustin Poirier||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 236||April 13, 2019||5||5:00||Atlanta, Georgia, United States||For the interim UFC Lightweight Championship. Fight of the Night.|
|Win||20–3||Brian Ortega||TKO (doctor stoppage)||UFC 231||December 8, 2018||4||5:00||Toronto, Ontario, Canada||Defended the UFC Featherweight Championship. Performance of the Night. Fight of the Night.|
|Win||19–3||José Aldo||TKO (punches)||UFC 218||December 2, 2017||3||4:51||Detroit, Michigan, United States||Defended the UFC Featherweight Championship.|
|Win||18–3||José Aldo||TKO (punches)||UFC 212||June 3, 2017||3||4:13||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||Won and unified the UFC Featherweight Championship. Fight of the Night.|
|Win||17–3||Anthony Pettis||TKO (body kick and punches)||UFC 206||December 10, 2016||3||4:50||Toronto, Ontario, Canada||Won the interim UFC Featherweight Championship; Pettis missed weight (148 lbs) and was ineligible to win the title. Performance of the Night.|
|Win||16–3||Ricardo Lamas||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 199||June 4, 2016||3||5:00||Inglewood, California, United States|
|Win||15–3||Jeremy Stephens||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 194||December 12, 2015||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||14–3||Charles Oliveira||TKO (neck injury)||UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs. Oliveira||August 23, 2015||1||1:39||Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada|
|Win||13–3||Cub Swanson||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC on Fox: Machida vs. Rockhold||April 18, 2015||3||3:58||Newark, New Jersey, United States||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||12–3||Cole Miller||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. Thatch||February 14, 2015||3||5:00||Broomfield, Colorado, United States|
|Win||11–3||Akira Corassani||KO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Nelson vs. Story||October 4, 2014||1||3:11||Stockholm, Sweden||Performance of the Night.|
|Win||10–3||Clay Collard||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Henderson vs. dos Anjos||August 23, 2014||3||3:47||Tulsa, Oklahoma, United States||Catchweight (149 lbs) bout.|
|Win||9–3||Andre Fili||Submission (guillotine choke)||UFC 172||April 26, 2014||3||3:39||Baltimore, Maryland, United States|
|Win||8–3||Will Chope||TKO (punches)||UFC Fight Night: Saffiedine vs. Lim||January 4, 2014||2||2:27||Marina Bay, Singapore||Knockout of the Night.|
|Loss||7–3||Conor McGregor||Decision (unanimous)||UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen||August 17, 2013||3||5:00||Boston, Massachusetts, United States|
|Loss||7–2||Dennis Bermudez||Decision (split)||UFC 160||May 25, 2013||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||7–1||Leonard Garcia||Decision (split)||UFC 155||December 29, 2012||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||6–1||Justin Lawrence||TKO (punches)||UFC 150||August 11, 2012||2||4:49||Denver, Colorado, United States|
|Win||5–1||Pat Schilling||Decision (unanimous)||The Ultimate Fighter: Live Finale||June 1, 2012||3||5:00||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||4–1||Dustin Poirier||Submission (mounted triangle armbar)||UFC 143||February 4, 2012||1||3:23||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||Featherweight debut.|
|Win||4–0||Eddie Rincon||Decision (unanimous)||UIC 4: War on the Valley Isle||July 1, 2011||3||5:00||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States|
|Win||3–0||Harris Sarmiento||Decision (split)||X-1: Champions 3||March 12, 2011||5||5:00||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States||Won the X-1 Lightweight Championship.|
|Win||2–0||Bryson Kamaka||KO (punches)||X-1: Island Pride||November 6, 2010||1||3:09||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States|
|Win||1–0||Duke Saragosa||Decision (unanimous)||X-1: Heroes||September 11, 2010||3||5:00||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States||Lightweight debut.|
|1.||UFC 206||Holloway vs. Pettis||December 10, 2016||Air Canada Centre||Toronto, Ontario, Canada||150,000|
|2.||UFC 212||Aldo vs. Holloway||June 3, 2017||Jeunesse Arena||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||200,000|
|3.||UFC 218||Holloway vs. Aldo||December 2, 2017||Little Caesars Arena||Detroit, Michigan, U.S||230,000|
|4.||UFC 231||Holloway vs. Ortega||December 8, 2018||Scotiabank Arena||Toronto, Ontario, Canada||350,000|
|5.||UFC 236||Holloway vs. Poirier 2||April 13, 2019||State Farm Arena||Atlanta, Georgia, U.S||100,000|