Joe Rogan is so impressed by UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway that he considers him the greatest of all-time in the weight class. Max Holloway took apart Jose Aldo by third-round TKO for the second time in as many fights, further establishing himself as the top featherweight in the world. That crown formerly belonged to Aldo, who was Zuffa’s 145-pound champion from November 2009 all the way until his 13-second KO loss to Conor McGregor in December 2015.
UFC analyst Joe Rogan called Holloway’s UFC 218 win over Aldo last Saturday, and having already said it on the PPV broadcast, Rogan reaffirmed his stance on his podcast that the Hawaiian is now the greatest featherweight in MMA history.
“When he was chicken-necking it at Aldo and he’s got his hands down and is talking s—t and stalking him, you could see it in Aldo’s face, like he was drowning,” Rogan said (transcription via MMA Fighting). You could see the waves were coming and he knew he wasn’t gonna be able to dog-paddle for too long. Like, ‘Jesus Christ, how am I gonna be able to keep up with this guy?’
‘“He’s the baddest motherf—ker. I think he’s the best 145er ever. He might not agree with it yet because of the record, which I see his point, but the way he fights, the Octagon I.Q. that he shows, his fight I.Q., his ability to find a weakness and see it, his predatory behavior inside the Octagon, I think he’s the best. I really do. It’s so impressive to me.”
Rogan also acknowledged Aldo’s greatness in his prime, citing several of the top moments in his legendary career, but believes the 26-year-old Holloway has surpassed the Brazilians’ achievements.
“Aldo, in his prime, was spectacular and amazingly impressive. His flying knee first-round knockout of Cub Swanson, the knockout of Chad Mendes, the Urijah Faber fight where he brutalized Urijah’s leg, he’s unquestionably one of the greats of all time, but in my opinion, skill wise, Max Holloway has now surpassed him. I think he’s the best.”
Holloway is 19-3 in his MMA career, with a 12-fight winning streak that includes victories over Ricardo Lamas, Anthony Pettis, Cub Swanson, and Jeremy Stephens. You have to go back to 2013 to find his last loss, a unanimous decision to Conor McGregor. The win over Aldo marked the first defense of his title. Aldo defended the WEC-turned-UFC belt nine times (twice in the WEC, with the remaining seven in the UFC).
I suppose Holloway beating up Aldo twice in a few months prompted a fairly quick change of heart for Rogan, who earlier this year called Conor McGregor the greatest featherweight of all-time on the basis of that memorable KO of Aldo.