UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo faces interim champion Max Holloway for the undisputed championship Saturday at UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro. ESPN Stats & Information previews the bout.
Aldo is the No. 1-ranked featherweight and the No. 7 pound-for-pound fighter, according to ESPN, and Holloway is the No. 2 featherweight.
Aldo is in his second reign as UFC featherweight champion. If this fight goes into the championship rounds — and seven of Aldo’s nine UFC title fights have — the Brazilian should have the advantage. He has averaged 19 minutes, eight seconds per fight, third-most in UFC history, and owns a 7-0 record in UFC fights that went into the championship rounds (i.e., Rounds 4 and 5; the typical UFC fight is three rounds).
Holloway enters this fight as the UFC interim featherweight champion after he defeated Anthony Pettis at UFC 206 in December. Holloway has won 10 consecutive fights inside the UFC octagon since suffering his last loss against Conor McGregor in August 2013. Holloway is among six fighters who have built double-digit UFC win streaks, and is the only such fighter in the featherweight division (145 pounds).
These fighters don’t get hit by their opponents often, and they rarely get taken to the mat. In UFC featherweight history, Aldo ranks second in both significant strike defense and takedown defense, while Holloway ranks fifth in significant strike defense and fourth in takedown defense.
Aldo has a 26-2 record (8-1 UFC) and is making his first defense of the UFC featherweight title in his second reign as champion. Fourteen of his wins have come by knockout, two by submission. He is 11-1 in UFC/WEC title bouts, with his only loss coming against McGregor at UFC 194 in December 2015.
This will be Aldo’s fourth UFC fight in Brazil. He was won the previous three, including two at Jeunesse Arena, site of Saturday’s fight.
Holloway has a 17-3 record (13-3 UFC), including a UFC-record 12 wins in the featherweight division. The American won the UFC interim featherweight title at UFC 206 in December. Seven of his wins have come by knockout, two by submission. During his 10-fight win streak, he has finished seven fighters.
A victory Saturday would give Holloway a UFC win in five countries. He has already won fights in the United States, Canada, Singapore and Sweden.
According to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook as of Wednesday afternoon, both Aldo and Holloway have minus-110 odds (bet $110 to win $100), making this an even fight from a betting perspective.
In the other main-card fight, Claudia Gadelha will face Karolina Kowalkiewicz in a strawweight bout (115 pounds). Gadelha is 14-2, including 3-2 in the UFC, with both losses coming against UFC strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Six of Gadelha’s wins have been by submission and two have been by knockout. In her five UFC fights, she has landed 26 takedowns and has been taken down only once, according to FightMetric.
Kowalkiewicz (10-1, including 3-1 UFC) also has lost only to Jedrzejczyk. Kowalkiewicz has one win by knockout and two by submission.