Max Holloway Reveals Fighter Who Came Closest To Knocking Him Out

Despite all the wars he’s been in over the years, Max Holloway holds the proud distinction of having never been stopped by strikes in his storied 31-fight career so far, but there was one fighter who he says came closest to stopping him, and it’s likely not who you think.

“The Andre Fili fight,” Holloway said on Andrew Schulz show. “I can honestly say… A lot of people that watched would be, like, ‘Oh, the (second) Dustin Poirier fight…’

“With Andre Fili, I remember getting hit one time. He cracked me with something, I don’t even know what he hit me with.

“I remember looking up at the scoreboard. It was in Baltimore. I was looking at the time, and I was thinking to myself, ‘What the hell am I doing right now? Why am I looking at the time? I should be looking at this guy.’

“That was probably one of the times, ever. I got hit, I was looking up, and I was distracted.”

Holloway was able to shake that off though all the way back in 2014 and went on to beat Fili by submission in the third round, as was the case in 2021 when ‘Blessed’ appeared to have his bell rung by a Yair Rodriguez head kick, only to fight through it and win by unanimous decision.

“(I felt) nothing. I was tripping out, ‘cause I was literally nose-to-nose with him. I was actually surprised he got that. In my mind, I was thinking, like, ‘What the?’

“You know when you see those comedy movies and you just see something, like legs or arms flying? ‘What did he hit me with?’ I was just tripping.”

Holloway heads into battle again on Saturday when he takes on The Korean Zombie in the main event of UFC Fight Night 225 in Singapore.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.