UFC 218: Max Holloway Set to Defend Featherweight Title Against Frankie Edgar

UFC champ Max Holloway
Credit: Joao Baptista/Sherdog.com

It’s official. At long last, UFC 218 has its headliner, and newly crowned featherweight champion Max Holloway will be part of it. ESPN reported late Tuesday that UFC officials had confirmed the booking of Holloway against Frankie Edgar at the December event. Aside from being Holloway’s first title defense, the fight will be Edgar’s third shot at featherweight gold. He twice faced Jose Aldo with gold on the line, most recently at UFC 200.

Holloway (18–3) is on one of the most storied runs of any competitor currently in the UFC at the moment. Having won eleven straight bouts dating back to 2014, he has not lost since dropping a 2013 decision to Conor McGregor. Along the way to winning featherweight gold, he defeated the likes of Cub Swanson, Jeremy Stephens, and Ricardo Lamas. He then bested Anthony Pettis for an interim title at UFC 206 in Toronto last December, and followed that up by finishing Jose Aldo at UFC 212 earlier this year.

The big question mark will be how he fares against a top tier wrestler like Frankie Edgar. Edgar (22–5–1) has dominated anyone he could get to the mat, and will enter the bout on a two fight win streak. The former UFC lightweight champion’s only losses since 2008 have come in title fights — two to Benson Henderson with lightweight gold on the line, and two to Jose Aldo. The first came at UFC 156 with Aldo’s featherweight title on the line; a rematch at UFC 200 had an interim featherweight title up for grabs.

For Edgar, this could very well be his last chance at gold in the 145lb division. At age thirty-five, and having been through some serious wars, Edgar is closer to the end of the road than the beginning. That said, he has proven to be one of the most gutsy fighters in the promotion, and would certainly be worthy of the status of a two-division champion.

UFC 218 takes place December 2 at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. A heavyweight showdown between Francis Ngannou and Alistair Overeem serves as the evening’s co-main event.