We might only be one event into the 2021 UFC calendar, but Max Holloway has already produced a strong contender for the performance of the year.
Holloway dominated Calvin Calvin Kattar in the main event of UFC Fight Island 7 on Saturday night, breaking several all-time UFC records in the process.
Breaking his own previous best of 290, Holloway landed a massive 445 significant strikes on Kattar during the five-round mauling.
Holloway also smashed the record for significant strikes thrown, with a scarcely-believable output of 744 attempted blows during the fight.
That Kattar managed to see the final horn is a testament to his toughness. There were several times during the second half of the bout that a bloody Kattar could easily have been pulled out of the fight - either by referee Herb Dean or by his own corner.
By the time the fifth round of the fight rolled around, Holloway - knowing he was in full control of the contest - decided to take a mid-round break from the action to exchange words with the UFC commentary team.
"I'm the best boxer in the UFC," declared Holloway in the direction of the announcers' desk, whilst still managing to slip shots that were being thrown by Kattar.
The way that Holloway went about his business, though, more than justified his trash talk.
Having lost two straight fights to current UFC featherweight champion Alex Volkanowski, Holloway needed a win badly, but the fashion in which he got the job done at the Etihad Arena was still mightily impressive.
Whilst he was unfortunate not to achieve a stoppage victory, the margins by which Holloway was awarded the fight on the scorecards proved his superiority.
Scores of 50-43, 50-43 and 50-42 are unlikely to be seen again in a UFC main event for quite some time.
Judge David Lethaby awarded Holloway no less than three 10-8 rounds - and it would be hard to argue that he did not deserve every one of them.
The UFC's third stint on Fight Island is off and running. Although we still have two full fight cards to go in Abu Dhabi, including a Conor McGregor fight, it is highly unlikely that we will see a better all-round showing from any fighter.
Holloway was phenomenal this weekend.News Now - Sport News