UFC 218 Recap: Holloway Bests Aldo Again

Max Holloway retained his UFC Featherweight Championship on Saturday night, defeating the man he took the title from, Jose Aldo, via third-round TKO in the main event of UFC 218, which took place at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan.

With his TKO finish of Aldo, Holloway extends his winning streak to 12 and now has sole possession of the most KO/TKO finishes in UFC history. Aldo, meanwhile, after being the challenger in an MMA title fight for the first time since 2009, has now lost three of his last four since going 25-1.

Not too much action occurred in the opening round, which featured a lot of circling around the cage. However, by the looks of things, it appeared Aldo was in control of the fight’s pacing. Aldo forced the champion to chase him when playing defense before applying the pressure on Holloway when on the attack, forcing Holloway into retreat.

Aldo’s offense seemed to pick up in the second round, landing a number of leg kicks and jabs. In fact, one leg kick, in particular, made Holloway wince. By the end of the second, however, Holloway seemed like he was getting used to the timing of Aldo’s movements.

The third round looked more like a real brawl, with both men trading heavy leather. Aldo’s face was busted open more as the round progressed. The fight went to the ground, and just like their first fight back in June, Holloway got Aldo’s back and rained down punches to the head until the referee stopped the bout.

The co-main event, however, may have delivered the Knockout of the Year. Francis Ngannou needed all of 102 seconds to cause fans to lose their minds and make fellow heavyweights wish to not enter the cage with him.

The main card also featured the coaches’ fight for The Ultimate Fighter season 26, as former UFC Lightweight Champion Eddie Alvarez defeated former WSOF Champion Justin Gaethje, giving Gaethje the first loss of his professional career.

UFC 218 Main Card (10 p.m., PPV)
UFC Featherweight Championship: (c.) Max Holloway def. Jose Aldo via TKO (Rd. 3, 4:51)
Heavyweight: Francis Ngannou def. Alistair Overeem via KO (Rd. 1, 1:42)
Flyweight: Henry Cejudo def. Sergio Pettis via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Lightweight: Eddie Alvarez def. Justin Gaethje via TKO (Rd. 3, 3:59)
Women’s Strawweight: Tecia Torres def. Michelle Waterson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

UFC 218 Preliminary Card (8 p.m., FOX Sports 1)
Lightweight: Paul Felder def. Charles Oliveira via KO (Rd. 2, 4:06)
Welterweight: Yancy Medeiros def.Alex Oliveira via TKO (Rd. 3, 2:02)
Lightweight: David Teymur def. Drakkar Klose via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Women’s Strawweight: Felice Herrig def. Cortney Casey via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

UFC 218 Early Prelims Card (6:15 p.m., UFC Fight Pass)
Women’s Strawweight: Amanda Cooper def. Angela Magana via TKO (Rd. 2, 4:34)
Welterweight: Abdul Razak Alhassan def. Sabah Homasi via TKO (Rd. 1, 4:21)
Light Heavyweight: Dominick Reyes def. Jeremy Kimball via technical submission (rear-naked choke) (Rd. 1, 3:39)
Heavyweight: Justin Willis def. Allen Crowder via TKO (Rd. 1, 2:33)

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