With Conor McGregor continuing his hiatus heading into the midway point of 2017, a featherweight unification bout will happen in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday when two-time champion Jose Aldo takes on interim champ Max Holloway as a -150 favorite.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
Holloway (17-3) is listed as the +120 underdog and won the interim title last December 10 at UFC 206 with a third-round TKO win over Anthony Pettis.
The Brazilian Aldo (26-2) was promoted to featherweight champ again after winning the interim belt last July 9 at UFC 200 when he defeated Frankie Edgar via unanimous decision. McGregor had won the title from him with a stunning 13-second knockout at UFC 194 on December 12, 2015.
Aldo won 18 in a row prior to that setback dating back to 2006, and he beat Edgar for the second time to win the title for a second time.
McGregor’s status in the UFC remains up in the air as he awaits Floyd Mayweather Jr. in a potential boxing match sometime later this year. In the meantime, the 25-year-old Holloway has taken the division by storm, winning 10 straight bouts since suffering his last loss to McGregor by unanimous decision back on August 17, 2013.
Only Jon Jones and Demetrious Johnson have longer active winning streaks in the promotion.
Stylistically, this matchup will likely take place on the feet, with the 30-year-old Aldo looking to use his vicious leg kicks and Holloway trying to pile up combinations in an effort to wear down his older opponent. Holloway has a four-inch height advantage, but their reaches are nearly identical, so the volume of strikes could be the difference.
In the co-main event, the next challenger for unbeaten women’s strawweight champ Joanna Jedrzejczyk is expected to be either Claudia Gadelha (14-2) or Karolina Kowalkiewicz (10-1). Both ladies have lost to Jedrzejczyk recently, but the lack of competition makes one of two rematches probable based on the victor of this fight.
The lone loss in the career of Kowalkiewicz took place at UFC 205 last November 12 after she won the first 10 bouts of her pro MMA career. She is a +265 underdog versus local favorite Gadelha, who is -350.
Gadelha has suffered both of her losses against Jedrzejczyk, but she bounced back with a UD win over Cortney Casey in her last matchup at UFC Fight Night 100 in Brazil last November 19.