- Max Holloway is the favorite at -185.
- Arnold Allen is the underdog at +150.
The T-Mobile Center in Kansas City will be the epicenter of UFC extravaganza as current No.1-ranked featherweight contender and former champion Max Holloway (23-7) meets the hot streaking No.4-ranked challenger Arnold Allen (19-1) this Saturday, April 15, in a high-profile match in the stacked 145-pound division.
Holloway is coming off his title loss to Alexander Volkanovski for the third time. His two defeats in the UFC were also courtesy of the Australian, who still currently reigns in the 145-pound division. Meanwhile, Allen is still undefeated under the Las Vegas-based promotion with 10 straight wins.
No slowing down! We've got a HUGE main event this Saturday 🔥@BlessedMMA vs @ArnoldBFA headlines at #UFCKansasCity! pic.twitter.com/uPfYZxx1QK
— UFC (@ufc) April 10, 2023
Although he dropped his previous bout in July 2022, Holloway is still the favorite to get the win in UFC odds at -185 over the up-and-coming challenger Allen who is the underdog at +150. The pride of Hawaii’s wealth of experience in championship fights and incredible run as a champion has swayed oddsmakers to make him the favorable fighter to get away with the victory.
Meanwhile, the fighter out of England wants to prove that he should be next in line for a title shot in the featherweight division with an astounding win over Holloway. Allen has two high-profile victories so far in his UFC run, winning against fellow ranked contenders Dan Hooker and Calvin Kattar.
If he gets the job done this weekend, he will have a solid case to get a title shot next as the weight class awaits the winner of the title unification bout between Alexander Volkanovski and Yair Rodriguez, which goes down later this year and headlines one of UFC’s Pay-Per-View events.
Max Holloway Recent Fight Results
Max Holloway was an undefeated young prospect when he joined the UFC in February 2012 with him winning his first four professional fights in X-1 and UIC, including one knockout stoppage triumph; however, he got a rude welcome to the promotion when Dustin Poirier submitted him via a Triangle Armbar technique in his debut match.
This didn’t hinder Holloway’s climb to the featherweight division as he quickly bounced back with three consecutive victories over Pat Schilling, Justin Lawrence, and Leonard Garcia to continue his quest at the top of the division and solidify his status as a legitimate contender in the 145-pound weight class.
After these three victories, “Blessed” was dealt with back-to-back losses from Dennis Bermudez and Conor McGregor before he went on an incredible 9-fight winning streak with wins over Will Chope, Andre Fili, Clay Collard, Akira Corassani, Cole Miller, Cub Swanson, Charles Oliveira, Jeremy Stephens, and Ricardo Lamas. These successive wins pushed Holloway’s name to the top of the division was given an interim featherweight title fight.
In December 2016, the Waianae, Hawaii native, fought Anthony Pettis for the interim featherweight title, and he captured the belt via a fourth-round doctor’s stoppage victory. It was Holloway’s getaway for a unification title bout with Jose Aldo in June 2017, and he realized his dream of becoming a world champion by stopping the “King of Rio” in three rounds via TKO.
Six months later, they again faced each other for a rematch, and it was the same result, with Hollowing winning by third-round TKO stoppage. Holloway’s back-to-back domination of Aldo has seen a changing of the guard in the featherweight division, with “Blessed” being the new man to beat, while Aldo became the gatekeeper.
The Gracie Technics defended his title for the second time over Brian Ortega by doctor’s stoppage in the fourth round of their December 2018 title showdown. Then, in April 2019, Holloway made a pit stop in the lightweight division to face former tormentor Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight belt. Still, he was denied by Poirier as he handed him a unanimous decision loss.
Three months later, he returned to the featherweight division to defend his title anew, this time against Frankie Edgar. Holloway got his third title defense with a decision victory over Edgar. Following these title defenses, Holloway crossed paths with Alexander Volkanovski and became “Blessed’s” kryptonite ever since.
In their first match in December 2019, Volkanovski scored a unanimous decision upset to dethrone Holloway; then they had an immediate rematch in July 2020, where Volkanovski again outpointed Holloway via split decision. The 31-year-old picked up back-to-back wins over Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez before getting another title shot against Volkanovksi. In the trilogy fight, Volkanovski dominated Holloway to retain his title in July 2022.
Never forget this LEGENDARY Max Holloway moment!@BlessedMMA is BACK this Saturday to headline at #UFCKansasCity! pic.twitter.com/NEluPqCpbD
— UFC (@ufc) April 10, 2023
Arnold Allen Recent Fight Results
Arnold Allen is one of the few UFC fighters who are still undefeated under the promotion. Before joining the Dana White-headed organization, Allen had nine wins, including seven finishes and one loss. He made his UFC debut in June 2015 and submitted Alan Omer in the third round to have a dream start in his promotional campaign.
“Almighty” slowly but surely climbed up the rankings with seven straight wins over Yaotzin Meza (unanimous decision in February 2016), Makwan Amirkhani (split decision in March 2017), Mads Burnell (third-round submission in May 2018), Jordan Rinaldi (unanimous decision in March 2019), Gilbert Melendez (unanimous decision in July 2019), Nik Lentz (unanimous decision in January 2020), and Sodiq Yusuff (unanimous decision in April 2021).
Because of this spectacular streak, Allen was matched to two higher-ranked contenders, Dan Hooker and Calvin Kattar, for his previous bouts. In March 2022, Allen scored an opening-round TKO victory over Dan Hooker, then maximized his first fight night main event feature in October 2022 when he picked up a second-round TKO win against Kattar.
Flashback to the biggest win of @ArnoldBFA's career 👊
He's coming to top it Saturday night at #UFCKansasCity!
Tickets to see it live are still available 🎟 https://t.co/2BH7wGSAGp pic.twitter.com/adOCDjOCcx
— UFC (@ufc) April 11, 2023
Holloway vs. Allen: Tale of the Tape
|Max Holloway||Arnold Allen|
|Reach||69 inches||70 inches|
|Leg Reach||42 inches||39 inches|
Holloway vs. Allen: Fight Analysis
The tale of the tape between Holloway and Allen sees the former with three inches of height and three inches of leg reach advantage, while the latter will enjoy an inch of reach edge coming into the fight. Allen has the better record of 19 wins and only one loss compared to Holloway’s 23 wins and seven losses; however, “Blessed” has an enormous wealth of experience.
In the striking department, Holloway is way ahead in strikes landed per minute at 7.24 (47% rate) versus Allen’s 3.4 (42% rate). But on the defensive end, Allen has the better number of only absorbing 2.25 significant strikes per minute (67% rate) compared to Holloway’s 4.89 absorbed strikes per minute (59% rate).
Because of their striking-based fight style, their grappling numbers are not a standout, with Holloway’s 0.29 takedown average per 15 minutes, 53% takedown accuracy, 84% takedown defense, and 0.33 submission average per 15 minutes; on the other hand, Allen has 1.35 takedown average per 15 minutes, 50% takedown accuracy, 76% takedown defense, and 0.37 submission average per 15 minutes.
Stylistically, both are volume strikers, with Holloway throwing an array of punches and Allen mixing his attack with punches and kicks. The key for Holloway is to put constant pressure on Allen by moving forward and throwing his patented combination punches, much like he does to his opponents, to overwhelm them and make no room for any momentum.
On the other side of the fence, Allen should take a page off Alexander Volkanovski’s strategy of attacking Holloway’s calves to potentially limit his movement and remove the power of his hands. Although it is easier said than done, he already has the blueprint for neutralizing the former champion’s continuous pressure and power-punching attack.
Despite the blueprint to nullify Holloway’s fighting style, his luxury of fighting the best fighters at the championship level will be too much for Allen to handle. After his most recent defeat from Volkanovski, fans and pundits have written off Holloway, saying that he is already washed, but remember that he is still extremely young and right on the peak of his career at 31.
In fact, Holloway’s work rate has been evident in his past five bouts as he averaged 419.2 total strikes, including the record-setting 746 total strike attempts during his fight with Calvin Kattar. Add the constant pressure forward and volume punches that he brings in every fight, then it will be a long night for Arnold Allen.
Official Prediction: Unanimous decision victory for Max Holloway.
See the entire UFC Kansas: Holloway vs. Allen odds and wagers here.
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