UFC 199 (June 4, 2016)
Max Holloway Vs Ricardo Lamas
Winner – Max Holloway Via Decision
Brian Ortega has taken the featherweight division by storm and injected some well-needed life into the title picture. By gaining breathtaking victories over both Cub Swanson and Frankie Edgar in the span of three months, Ortega establish himself as the undeniable number one contender – setting up a title fight with the champion Max Holloway.
Following his second defeat of Jose Aldo – Max Holloway was seemingly on his way to clearing out the Featherweight division. Having defeated the majority of the divisions elite on route to the title, including wins over top contenders (at the time) Swanson, Lamas, and Stephens – it seemed that Frankie Edgar may be the only viable top contender left for Holloway to face… That was unless someone Max had yet to face, could break through as the new number one contender.
Brian Ortega’s victory over Cub Swanson shifted the title picture completely and created the opportunity for a new and exciting opponent for Max Holloway. When the champion was forced to pull out of his fight with Frankie Edgar, it seemed that the opportunity to step up was destined for Ortega. Stepping in on relatively short notice, Ortega capitalised on the opportunity of a lifetime and defeated Frankie Edgar in devastating fashion. Ortega took the chance of a lifetime and squeezed it for all it’s worth. Brian is now the number one contender and will be one half of (potentially) the greatest featherweight fight of all time.
Max Holloway vs Brian Ortega is a special fight. Very rarely do we see matchups of this caliber come to fruition, but when they do it is immediately clear that they are going to be spectacular. This fight is on a level that only few fights can reach. Matchups like, Cody Garbrandt vs TJ Dillashaw – Daniel Cormier vs Jon Jones – and next month’s Tony Ferguson vs Khabib Nurmagomedov, all standout as fights that occupy the same rarefied air.
Everything has perfectly fallen into place for this fight to happen. It will be contested between the consensus, best Featherweights in the world. Although Max Holloway is the reigning champion and one of the best fighters of all time, Brian Ortega has a very legitimate chance of dethroning him in this fight. The matchup will play into the strengths and weaknesses of both men and will surely bring absolute peak performance out of both men. It is impossible to pick a winner in this fight and it is not unreasonable to believe we will be seeing these two fight more than once, regardless of the winner.
The downtime between now and when the fight takes place is going to be painstaking and will surely test our patience. Regardless of when or where the fight takes place, I could not be more excited. This will be one of the best fights in UFC history.