Holloway beats Aldo, retains title

Casey falls to Herrig by split decision in Detroit

Max Holloway punches Jose Aldo during the third round of their featherweight title fight Saturday at UFC 218. -- AP photo

DETROIT — Max Holloway sought to build up his UFC legacy and push Jose Aldo closer to the end of his career.

Done and done.

Holloway defended his UFC featherweight title by dominating the former champion in a rematch, winning his 12th straight fight with a TKO late in the third round Saturday night.

“He is a hell of a technician, but this is the ‘Blessed’ era,” Holloway said, referring to his nickname. “This is something new.”

In an earlier fight, Kahului strawweight Cortney Casey narrowly lost to Felice Herrig by split decision, 29-28, 28-29, 29-28.


Holloway (19-3) beat Aldo in his native Brazil in June, rallying from a slow start to win with a TKO in the third.

The 25-year-old from Waianae, Oahu, was in control throughout the bout in Detroit, but Aldo (26-4) landed his fair share of punches and kicks as one would expect from one of the greats in mixed martial arts.

Holloway’s last loss was to Conor McGregor in 2013.

The 31-year-old Aldo has lost two of his last three fights, including to McGregor nearly two years ago after going nearly a decade without a setback.

Aldo fought in place of Frankie Edgar, who was supposed to fight Holloway but broke an orbital bone a few weeks ago while training.

Felice Herrig (left) and Cortney Casey exchange punches in the first round of their strawweight fight Saturday. -- AP photo

Casey’s loss to Herrig (14-6) was close, though Herrig scored the only takedown of the fight. Herrig, ninth in the UFC strawweight rankings, won her fourth straight fight.

Casey, ranked 11th, fell to 7-5 and 3-4 in the UFC. She was fighting for the first time since a win by decision over Jessica Aguilar on May 13. That victory was upheld after a no-contest ruling and suspension by the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation was dropped. The organization had initially sanctioned Casey after ruling she had a testosterone-to-epitestosterone ratio that surpassed its limit, but then reversed its ruling after testing of her “B” sample — the UFC had endorsed an overturning of the initial decision.

In another preliminary bout that many are calling a candidate for Fight of the Year, Oahu’s Yancy Medeiros defeated Alex Oliveira by technical knockout at 2:02 of the third round.

In other main card fights, heavyweight Francis Ngannou knocked out Alistair Overeem with a left hook in the first round, Henry Cejudo beat Sergio Pettis with a unanimous decision in a flyweight bout and Eddie Alvarez dropped Justin Gaethje in the middle of the octagon by thrusting his right knee into his opponent’s chin in the third round for a TKO, ending a lightweight matchup that lived up to the billing of being very violent.

Max Holloway holds his son, Rush, after defeating Jose Aldo on Saturday. -- AP photo