Waianae’s Max Holloway extended his winning streak to eight with a unanimous decision over Jeremy Stephens in the opening bout of the UFC 194 pay-per-view broadcast on Saturday night in Las Vegas.
Two judges scored the contest 30-27, while a third had it 29-28 for Holloway (15-3, 11-3), who holds the UFC record for most wins in the 145-pound division.
Holloway was cautious standing against Stephens, but he controlled the fight with his reach advantage and takedown defense.
His best round was the third round, when Holloway took Stephens down and landed a few left hands to the face. He also nearly locked in a rear-naked choke against Stephens before the fight eventually got back to the feet.
“He hit a little harder than I thought he would,” Holloway said after the fight. “I’m a mixed martial artist, guys, I’m not just a striker. I’m growing with the sport and I can’t wait.”
Holloway called out both Jose Aldo and Conor McGregor, who headline tonight’s UFC event.
Holloway was ranked No. 5 in the featherweight division, while Stephens (24-12, 11-11) was eighth heading into the fight.
In a preliminary bout at 155 pounds, Makaha’s Yancy Medeiros claimed his third UFC win with a split decision over John Makdessi.
Two judges scored the fight 29-28 for Mederios, and a third had it 29-28 for Makdessi.
Medeiros (12-3, 3-3) likely won the fight in the final 10 seconds when he dropped Makdessi (12-5, 6-5) with a left hook to the temple.