After a year-long layoff filled with worrying setbacks, Max Holloway picked up right where he left off as his relentless pace and brilliant striking overwhelmed Brian Ortega forcing a doctor’s stoppage after the fourth round.
From the get-go, Holloway peppered away at Ortega with off-tempo one-twos, doubling up with straights and his trademark body shots. To Ortega’s credit, the challenger stood toe-to-toe with the champion and landed big punches of his own, including a third-round he arguably won.
Once the fight entered its fourth stanza, however, Holloway kicked into an extra gear that only truly great fighters can reach. With stance switches and a developing welt underneath Ortega’s left eye, Holloway dominated the fourth and may have got the stoppage if not for time running out.
Fortunately for Ortega’s career going forward, the ringside doctor and his corner called the fight before entering the final five minutes and ensure that Holloway defended his undisputed belt for the second time.
Meanwhile, in the night’s other title fight, Valentina Shevchenko dominated through her power and size against Joanna Jedrzejczyk to claim the vacant women’s flyweight title.
Max Holloway def. Brian Ortega via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) (Round 4, 5:00)
Valentina Shevchenko def. Joanna Jedrzejczyk via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
Gunnar Nelson def. Alex Oliveira via submission (rear-naked choke) (Round 2, 4:17)
Hakeem Dawodu def. Kyle Bochniak via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)
Thiago Santos def. Jimi Manuwa via KO (Round 2, 0:41)
Nina Ansaroff def. Claudia Gadelha via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Gilbert Burns def. Olivier Aubin-Mercier via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Jessica Eye def. Katlyn Chookagian via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Elias Theodorou def. Eryk Anders via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Brad Katona def. Matthew Lopez via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Dhiego Lima def. Chad Laprise via KO (Round 1, 1:37)
Diego Ferreira def. Kyle Nelson via TKO (Round 2, 1:23)
Aleksandar Rakic def. Devin Clark via TKO (Round 1, 4:05)