Max Holloway Talks Kattar Win; Impact Of No Hard Sparring

"When I was 16 I had to spar. But it comes to a point where you spar enough."

Image via Instagram @blessedmma

In January of 2021, Max Holloway out on one of the most dominant performances in UFC history. The Hawaiian looked sensational as he defeated top prospect Calvin Kattar in every round. 

As was the case with Dustin Poirier following his victory over McGregor, this incredible performance led to Holloway being once again invited on to the Joe Rogan Experience. As always on the JRE, they covered a large range of topics including anything from genetically engineered monkeys to the mentality needed to be a UFC champion. However, one topic they extensively covered was that of Holloway’s victory over Kattar. 

No Contact Max

This was especially intriguing in light of the fact that Holloway has revealed that he did zero full contact sparring in preparation for the fight. ‘Blessed’ had the following to say:

“With the sparring. In the preparation for Kattar, We didn’t spar. But I moved with my partners. We grappled, we has standup. We had ideas of how he moved. So I just got used to the movement, and we keyed onto certain things. And that’s it. But was nothing ever like cracking you. You know how it is. You see all these guys like, I got hurt sparring. That’s where all my injuries came. I got hurt from grappling hard and sparring hard.”

“So if you just take that out, you get a two hundred percent version of yourself. It comes a point like everyone thinks I’m telling everybody to stop sparring, I’m telling the young kids to stop sparring. I’m not telling the young kids to stop sparring. When I was 16 I had to spar. But it comes to a point where you spar enough.”

The Secret To Kattar’s Demise

In terms of how this light contact training affected Holloway’s performance against Kattar, ‘Blessed’ had the following to say:

“I think we figured out a way where it worked for me. And you guys got to see, you know. I felt so good. My body, my everything. I felt great.”

However, Holloway does also give plaudits it Kattar. Despite Max being in such good form, Kattar’s durability was just as impressive.

“It takes two. I tell everybody with this, about the numbers and stuff. The reason why I didn’t hit this number against Ortega is because we went only four rounds. Ortega is a different beast too. The ref said what he said. And that’s what happened in that fight. But with Kattar.. It was crazy. I think in one of the rounds I hit him, he was just gone. I was like he’s gone at the end of the round. He’s not walking out for the fifth round.”

“That MuthaF****er jumping up and down! Like it was the first round. I was like ok then. There’s my answer. You feel like getting punched some more my friend. We’re gonna do this.”


Max Holloway will likely face the winner out of Volkanovski vs Ortega for the featherweight belt. Do you think we’ll see ‘Blessed’ wearing that gold belt again? Let us know in the comments.


Published on February 28, 2021 at 8:17 am
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