Jerome Max Keli’i Holloway was born on December 4, 1991, in Honolulu, Hawai. Holloway was brought up in the notorious neighbourhood of Waianae. He is of Samoan and Native Hawaiian descent.
Both of his parents were severe dr*g users. His mother Missy Kapoi used crystal m**h but eventually quit. When Max was just 11 years old, his abusive father Mark Holloway abandoned the family.
Near the conclusion of his sophomore year, Holloway started training in kickboxing in 2007. At age 15, he started competing out of Team Ruthless.
Holloway ended up winning his first amateur match after three days of training. In 2010, he graduated from Waianae High School.
When he was just 19 years old, he had amassed a 4-0 record. Due to his ability to employ a variety of flying and spinning kicks, knees, and elbows in his striking game, he was compared to former UFC and former WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis.
Additionally, Holloway was recognized as the #7 featherweight prospect of 2012 in Bloody Elbow’s 2012 World MMA Scouting Report.
A split decision victory against former Strikeforce and WEC veteran Harris Sarimento in March 2011, earned him the lightweight title for the Hawaii-based X-1 promotion. This served as the high point of his early career in MMA.
Max Holloway made his professional debut in February 2012, against Dustin Poirier at UFC 143 as Ricardo Lamas’ substitute. He was then the youngest combatant on the UFC roster. Holloway was defeated via submission in the first round.
In June 2012, Holloway engaged in his second match at TUF 15 Finale against Pat Schilling. Holloway ended up winning the match via unanimous decision.
Conor McGregor and Holloway squared off at UFC Fight Night 26 in August 2013. He was defeated in the match via unanimous decisions.
In January 2014 at UFC Fight Night 34, Holloway competed against rookie Will Chope. In the second round, Holloway knocked out his opponent through TKO. With this win, Holloway received his first Knockout of the Night bonus for the victory.
In April 2014, Andre Fili and Holloway squared off at UFC 172. He submitted Fili in the third round of their back-and-forth match.
Standing in for Chan Sung Jung at UFC Fight Night 53 in October 2014, Holloway competed against Akira Corssani. He ended up winning the match via first-round knockout. Additionally, he received his first Performance of the Night Bonus Award.
At UFC on Fox 15, Holloway competed against Cub Swanson in 2015. In the third round, Holloway used a mounted guillotine to end the match. He also received his second Performance of the Night bonus award thanks to the victory.
At UFC Fight Night 74 in August 2015, Holloway squared off against Charles Oliveira. Holloway ended up winning the match via TKO in the first round. Oliveira seemed to have a neck or shoulder injury while attempting to defend a takedown, rendering him unable to finish the match. Later, it was identified that he had a micro-tear in his oesophagus. Holloway’s victory made him the youngest competitor in UFC history with 10 victories.
In December 2016 at UFC 206, Holloway competed against Anthony Pettis for the interim UFC Featherweight Championship. Pettis weighed in at 148 pounds, which is three pounds more than the 145-pound limit for featherweight competition. So if Pettis defeated Holloway, he would not be qualified for the UFC title. Holloway ended up winning the match via third-round TKO, and he was given the Performance of the Night bonus.
Holloway announced that he signed a new contract with the UFC in October 2017. Frankie Edgar was scheduled to compete against Holloway in December 2017 at UFC 218. However, Edgar withdrew from the event citing an injury, and José Aldo took Edgar’s spot. By virtue of a third-round TKO, Holloway ended up winning the match and kept the UFC Featherweight championship.
In April 2018, it was revealed that Max Holloway would step in at the last minute to face Khabib Nurmagomedov for the vacant undisputed UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 223. If he wins, Holloway would become only the second combatant in UFC history to concurrently hold belts in two separate weight classes.
With just six days to prepare, Holloway accepted the bout despite not being in a training camp. Doctors from the New York State Athletic Commission removed Holloway from the lineup on April 6, just before his weigh-in.
Max Holloway with Bruno Mars
In December 2018, Holloway competed against Brian Ortega in the main event of UFC 231 to make his second championship defence. At the conclusion of the fourth round, Holloway won the match via TKO by doctor’s stoppage. With this win, he set the record for most wins (15) in UFC featherweight history.
In April 2019 at UFC 236, Holloway stepped up a weight division and competed against Dustin Poirier again for the interim UFC Lightweight Championship. He was defeated by a unanimous decision in the back-and-forth match.
Holloway competed against Alexander Volkanovski in his fourth championship defence in December 2019 at UFC 245. His reign at featherweight came to an end when he was defeated by a unanimous decision.
In July 12 at UFC 251, Holloway competed in a rematch with Alexander Volkanovski for the UFC Featherweight Championship. He was defeated by a narrow margin.
In January 2021, Holloway and Calvin Kattar squared up on UFC on ABC 1. Holloway outclassed Kattar in all rounds, and ended up winning the match by unanimous decision. In the final two minutes of the fifth round, Holloway connected with a two-punch combination. He then continued to talk to and stare at the cage-side commentary team while deftly dodging Kattar’s blows and shouting, “I’m the best boxer in the UFC!” This prompted speculation that Holloway was paying homage to Muhammad Ali, who was known for his showboating.
In November 2021, Holloway and Yair Rodrguez squared off at UFC Fight Night 197. He ended up winning the match via unanimous decision. The Fight of the Night bonus was won by both competitors.
A trilogy match between Holloway and Volkanovski took place at UFC 276 in July 2022. Holloway was defeated by unanimous decision in the match.
In April 2023, Holloway and Arnold Allen squared off on UFC on ESPN 44. He ended up winning the match via unanimous decision.
On August 26, 2023, Holloway will compete against Jung Chan-sung at UFC on ESPN 52.
In 2012, Holloway wed his longtime partner Kaimana Pa’aluhi. The couple had a son together named Rush Holloway. However, the couple separated in 2014 and got divorced in 2017.
Max Holloway and Hawaiian professional surfer Alessa Quizon started dating in early 2020. The couple got married on April 16, 2022.
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