Max Holloway puts away late replacement Clay Collard by third-round TKO

At 22 years of age, Max Holloway seems to just get better and better with every performance he has in the Octagon although he had a game challenger on Saturday night in newcomer Clay Collard, who just took the fight days ago. 

Holloway was supposed to face fellow prospect Mirsad Bektic, but an injury forced a change to the fight at the last minute.  Collard stepped up for the challenge and gave Holloway everything he could handle until the Hawaiian finally powered through for a finish in the third round.

As the fight started, it was clear Collard wasn’t going to back down from his much more experienced UFC opponent as he stalked Holloway around the cage and plodded forward with strikes. Holloway’s technical precision was surgical as he cracked Collard with a series of long, rangy punches as well as a few well timed knees and kicks but the Octagon rookie refused to back down.

It was much the same in round two although Collard’s cardio started to fade as Holloway’s pace never slowed down.  Finally in the third round, Holloway was able to put Collard on the mat and take his back where he began raining down punches and elbows to try and end the fight.

Collard did his best to defend, but as each shot slipped through it was clear he was almost out and the referee noticed and quickly stepped in to stop the damage.  Holloway picks up his third win in a row and didn’t waste any time asking for who he’d like to face next int eh UFC.

"There’s a guy that’s on a seven fight win streak his name is Dennis Bermudez, I don’t think he’s really on that streak, I’d like to get my rematch with him," Holloway said following the victory.  "If I can’t I would love to fight Dennis Siver."

As for Collard, while he ended up losing by third round TKO, the record sheets won’t tell how game he was taking this fight on extremely short notice.  With a full camp it will be interesting to see what he can do the next time he steps into the Octagon.