But if Holloway can become just the second man to beat Aldo in more than 10 years, that opens up a lot of new doors for the 145-pound class. There are plenty of challengers that the young Hawaiian has yet to face, and watching him trying to become the next great featherweight champ would be something new for everyone.
Let’s take a look at the UFC odds at BookMaker.eu and break down the fight based on your betting options.
Bet on 212 UFC odds
Jose Aldo -115
Max Holloway -115
Over/under 4.5 rounds, over -160, under +140
The Case For Aldo
Aldo’s 10-year, 15-fight win streak in the UFC/WEC came to a shattering end when McGregor iced him at UFC 194. But anybody who took that as a sign that the Brazilian might be on the decline was proven wrong just one fight later, when he thoroughly beat longtime No. 1 contender Frankie Edgar.
Against “The Answer”, Aldo looked like his usual self - blindingly fast and nearly impossible to take down. The win looks even more impressive considering how good Edgar looked against Yair Rodriguez at UFC 211. Aldo easily shrugged off Edgar’s takedown attempts and beat him to the punch every time.
Because Aldo is four inches shorter than Holloway, he’ll need to use his speed and light-speed reactions in the standup phase. As one of the best technical Muay Thai fighters in the game, if he can force Holloway to realize that he is the better striker, the interim champ might be forced to try and wrestle - something which he is not accustomed to.
The Case for Holloway
Like Aldo, Holloway prefers to strike. He does have good submission skills, but if Edgar couldn’t take down Aldo, “Blessed” will not be able to. Even if he did get it to the mat, it’s doubtful that Holloway could somehow tap out a BJJ black belt like Aldo.
The Hawaiian has to utilize his height advantage - he is 5’11” to Aldo’s 5’7”. It’s safe to assume that Max isn’t as fast as Aldo, but he is much longer and possesses greater range. He can make up for being a step behind his opponent if he cuts angles and finds success with his stinging straight punches.
What he cannot do is chase Aldo - no fighter has ever found success doing that. The 25-year must apply smart pressure and punish Aldo’s periods of inconsistent activity with volume. When Aldo is allowed to play matador, he will cruise to the final bell. If Holloway comes out and steals early rounds, it will be a situation that Aldo is completely unfamiliar with.
How You Should Bet
With the exception of Conor McGregor, Holloway is the best equipped fighter that Aldo has faced to date. He is tall, fast and dynamic. Still, he will have to prove himself against the featherweight GOAT - and we tend to take for granted how good Aldo is.
If Max had an underdog line, he would absolutely warrant a bet. But right now, Aldo’s line is too affordable in the UFC odds to pass up. As we saw in the Edgar vs. Rodriguez fight, it’s easy to fall in love with a flashy young contender, only to be disappointed when they step into the cage against the elite old guard.
UFC odds pick: Aldo to win at -115
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