It has been another crazy week for me with a trip to Brazil for Comic Con to promote xXx, I’ve got family coming in for Christmas and house renovations, as well. However, I’m back now, and we’ve got fights this weekend—a pair of UFC cards to be exact, but we’re just going to be focused on one fight in particular, Max Holloway vs. Anthony Pettis.
This fight got a whole lot more interesting and the stakes have been upped considerably since it’s been announced that it’s for the interim title. Finally, we’re getting some sort of movement towards unclogging the log jam at featherweight.
It’s gone from a three round to a five round fight, but both of these guys are more than capable of doing that on short notice. I don’t really see that as being much of an issue, nor the fact that they are now the main event since Cormier/Johnson is off. Some fighters feel pressure carrying the main event of a fight card, but I don’t think that would be a problem for either of them since they’ve both headlined cards.
It’s really hard to figure out where #AnthonyPettis is right now. He finds himself with a rare opportunity. He could end up with a belt in another weight class. Just two years ago, he was the lightweight champ, and come Saturday night, he could be wearing another belt.
He had that unfortunate three-fight losing skid, but looked great in his first fight at featherweight when he choked out Charles Oliveira. I don’t think he’s going to have it quite so easy against #MaxHolloway, though. Max just keeps getting better and better.
Max has the longer frame and Pettis has the more diverse skillset on the feet. Anthony is incredibly versatile, but I can see Max pushing him back and making him retreat. Holloway is a forward-moving machine with great distance management. It doesn’t hurt that he’s very aggressive and will get right in the pocket with Pettis.
It’s a very difficult fight to pick because both guys are good on the ground and they’re both great strikers, although Pettis is probably the faster, more diverse striker, but Max puts it all together very nicely, as well.
It’s an interesting fight and certainly not a walk in the park for either man. I don’t know who the favorite is with the bookmakers, and I’m certainly struggling to pick a winner. I lean toward Holloway ever so slightly, and with a nine-fight win streak, he will likely be riding a wave of confidence that will no doubt find great partnership with that aggression.
But at the same time, you can’t underestimate Anthony Pettis. He’s found himself in pressure cooker situations before and managed to find victory. The fact of the matter is that this is one of the most well-matched fights we’ve seen in some time, and fans will be treated to one of the most exciting fights of the year.