Jerome Max Kelii Holloway, born on December 4, 1991) is an American mixed martial artist competing in the Featherweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) where he is the undisputed UFC Featherweight Champion. As of March 2018, Holloway is the #5 ranked UFC pound-for-pound fighter.
Holloway is of Native Hawaiian and Samoan ancestry. He graduated from Waianae High School in 2010, where he began to learn kickboxing. Max currently trains out of Gracie Technics Honolulu and Legacy Muay Thai. He also gets his strength training out of Tactical Strength and Conditioning under Coach Darin Yap. Holloway has one son. He is an avid fan of video games and an active user of the video-game streaming service Twitch under the username ‘BlessedMMA’. He plays first person shooters as well as RPGs.
At the age of 19, Holloway had amassed a record of 4-0. He gained recognition as the #7 featherweight of all time in Bloody Elbow’s 2012 World MMA Scouting Report and has even been compared to former UFC and former WEC light-weight champion Anthony Pettis, due to his ability to incorporate a wide array of flying and spinning kicks, knees and elbows into his striking game.
His early career was highlighted by a split decision win over former Strikeforce and WEC veteran Harris Sarimento on March 12, 2011, earning himself the lightweight strap for the Hawaii-based X-1 promotion.
Holloway was the youngest fighter on the UFC roster when he made his promotional debut as an injury replacement for Ricardo Lamas at UFC 143 in 4, 2012, against Dustin Poirier. He lost the fight via submission in the first round.
In his second fight, Holloway faced Pat Schilling in June 2012 at The Ultimate Fighter 15 Finale. After a dominant performance where he almost finished Schilling several times, Holloway won via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
He then defeated Justin Lawrence, in August 2012 at UFC 150 via TKO.
Holloway fought Leonard Garcia in December 2012, at UFC 155, replacing an injured Cody McKenzie and won the close fight via split decision
Holloway faced Conor McGregor in August 2013, at UFC Fight Night 26 and lost the fight via unanimous decision.
He next faced Dennis Bermudez in May 2013, at UFC 160 and lost the fight via split decision.
He then faced promotional newcomer Will Chope in January 2014, at UFC Fight Night 34 and won the fight via TKO in the second round. The win also earned Holloway his first Knockout of the Night bonus.
Holloway faced Andre Fili in April 2014, at UFC 172 and won the back-and-forth fight after wobbling Fili and submitting him in the third round.
Holloway was expected to face promotional newcomer Clay Collard in August 2014, at UFC Fight Night. Holloway outstruck his opponent and won the fight via TKO in the third round.
Holloway once again served as a replacement and faced Akira Corassani on October 4, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 53, filling in for Chan Sung Jung. He won the fight via knockout in the first round.
He next faced Cole Miller in February 2015, at UFC Fight Night 60 and won the bout via dominant unanimous decision.
Holloway faced Cub Swanson in April 2015, at UFC on Fox 15. After out-striking Swanson through the first three rounds, he finished the fight with a mounted guillotine in the third round.
He then faced Charles Oliveira in August 2015, at UFC Fight Night 74 and won the fight via TKO. With the win, Holloway became the youngest fighter in UFC history to get 10 wins.
Holloway then faced Jeremy Stephens in December 2015, at UFC 194 and won the fight via a lopsided unanimous decision.
He next faced Ricardo Lamas in June 2016, at UFC 199 and won the thrilling fight via unanimous decision.
Holloway faced Anthony Pettis for the interim UFC Featherweight Championship in December 2016, at UFC 206. Through a barrage of punches Holloway won the fight via TKO in the third round and was awarded a Performance of the Night bonus.
Holloway faced the lineal featherweight champion José Aldo in a title unification bout in June 2017, at UFC 212 and defeated Aldo via TKO in the third round. He earned his first Fight of the Night bonus award for the bout.
He faced José Aldo in replacement of Frankie Edgar in December 2017, at UFC 218 and won the fight via TKO in the third round and retained the UFC Featherweight belt.
Holloway is expected to replace the injured Tony Ferguson and face Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 223 on April 7th, 2018. Holloway will be only the second fighter in UFC history to hold two titles in different divisions simultaneously if victorious.