Before the fourth round Holloway, who entered the fight as the betting underdog, looked over to commentator Joe Rogan and said, "I'm ending it now". Holloway fought back with punishing blows as Ortega continued to bleed from the face.
"I made the weight and I made it look easy", Holloway said. Ortega never got knocked down and managed to survive the round, but the doctor declared him unfit to fight the fifth round, giving Holloway his second straight title defense as undisputed champion. "Hey, he's a tough opponent, a tough guy".
It was a masterful performance by Holloway, who was forced to withdraw from two title fights earlier this year because of health concerns. Finally, at UFC 226 in July he exhibited concussion-like symptoms and had to pull out during fight week.
Ortega dropped to 14-1.More news: The Final Season Episode 3 release date announced
If White and the UFC made that happen, Holloway would agree to fight anyone. The jiu-jitsu ace ended up sliding off Holloway's back, however, and the opportunity was gone.
To his credit, the champion showed the heart of just that and more. Holloway found his range and timing and constantly touched Ortega with jab-cross combinations. The pay-per-view takes place tomorrow night, December 8 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada. With Ortega landing 110 significant strikes, they combined for a single-fight record 400 significant strikes. Ortega filled in for Holloway, winning by spectacular first-round TKO. ESPN scored every round for Holloway.
Holloway danced in the fourth and then hammered Ortega at the fence.
The co-main event saw Valentina Shevchenko beat Joanna Jedrzejczyk to capture the women's featherweight title. But he praised the cageside doctor for preventing additional harm. "If there was one more round, it was going to be one more round of the same thing. The doctors are doing their job".More news: Jennifer Aniston looks half her age
In an interview with MMA Junkie, UFC President Dana White said that UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway is too big to continue fighting in the division for much longer. White said he'll require both Ortega and Holloway to get checked twice for long-term damage. "I was hoping that either the referee or the corner was going to stop that fight". You know, I didn't want him to fight again at '45.
Max Holloway is still the UFC featherweight champion.
It's not an instant title shot for Holloway, but with the colossal payday that comes with fighting McGregor, and with Holloway nearly certain to retain his pay-per-view points deal he earned by becoming the UFC featherweight champ, it could be the best option for "Blessed" if he makes his move up. "I'll tell you what, Dana White". I have this niche - I give undefeated fighters their first loss.
"This is more valuable to me to get this belt from this kind of fight than with any other opponent".More news: Paul Millsap, Denver Nuggets forward, suffers broken toe
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