The main fight of UFC Fight Night 197 is one of those after which we need to get up and bow to the participants and thank them for the experience they have given us. Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez in their mutual fight provided all the best that MMA as a sport can offer, and regardless of who took the victory, they both gained a lot from this fight.
First of all respect, but also everything else that goes with it. Although Holloway was quite a big favorite before the start of the fight, partly because Yair was not in the Octagon for two years, it could very quickly be concluded that this would not be a big problem for the Mexican.
In fact, he opened the fight better, especially at the expense of low kicks by which he immediately slowed Max’s initiative. By slowing down, he set the conditions that suit him and gave more in open exchanges, thus opening the fight by winning the first round.
It was clear we would see a lot. In the second round, Max starts to move better, which automatically results in better hits. He was slowly taking control, although exchanges were still frequent and ones in which they both had something to offer.
Holloway this time offered more and after the sign for the end of the second round it was clear that everything was at the beginning, 1: 1. The third round was the best for the former champion. He picked up the pace and threw Yair into trouble, especially after taking the fight to the edge of the arena and then throwing him to the floor.
Rodriguez didn't do well there, so he leaned back on the floor and covered his head with his hands. A cannonade of blows ensued, and even at one point Yair seemed to give up.
Still, he started coming back from a lower position, which was enough of a sign that he was still in the fight.
Holloway dominated until about two minutes before the end, when the fighters get to their feet, followed by one lightning strike by the Mexican in which Holloway was seriously hit. With that attack, Yair broke him a fairly safe 10: 8 round.
But the advantage for the Hawaiian fighter was now certain. The fourth round was the easiest to score, as Holloway had now taken control of a more tired opponent. He also tried a bulldog choke that didn’t work for him, after which he took the fight to the floor.
In the second part of the round they are back on their feet, but Max is much safer and with a slightly slower pace brings the round to an end. The final round was entered with Max’s advantage, which he used to come with a takedown.
Still, in the middle of the round, Yair responds on the ground floor and turns and comes to the top position. Max got out of it and got to his feet, where the action continues. Rodriguez did his best by the end of the fight and even in the opinion of some referees took the last leg.
Still, it wasn't enough for him. Referee cards were 49-46 and twice 48-47 in Holloway's favor. Absolutely clean and deserved, but also absolutely every praise deserves his opponent