UFC featherweight Max Holloway has yet to crack the top-15 rankings, but he’s definitely emerging as one of the organization’s most exciting 145-pound competitors. After recording a third straight finish at Fight Night 49 against Clay Collard, “Blessed” is now ready to make a quick return against Akira Corassani at Fight Night 53 in Sweden on Oct. 4. He replaces Chan Sung Jung who was forced out of the co-main event because of a shoulder strain.
Holloway is already a veteran of nine Octagon appearances and has secured other victories this year against Andre Fili and Will Chope. He’s 6-3 in his UFC career with those losses coming against elite competition in the forms of top-10 contenders Dustin Poirier, Dennis Bermudez and Conor McGregor. Only Poirier was able to finish the tough 22-year-old.
After his latest triumph, Holloway called out Bermudez for a rematch, and also expressed an interest in facing Dennis Siver. While he’s not getting the top-10 opponent he had been hoping for, Holloway is getting a high-profile opportunity on the Stockholm card. Interestingly enough, Siver will also be fighting at Fight Night 53 as he is facing Robert Whiteford. Victories by both men could potentially set up a future Holloway-Siver matchup.
Corassani’s aggressive style should make for an exciting clash against the surging striker. The Swedish native will be looking to rebound on home turf against Holloway after being stopped by Poirier in a slugfest at the TUF Nations Finale in April. The thrilling back-and-forth contest earned Corassani a Fight of the Night bonus. It was his first Octagon setback after recording wins against Andy Ogle, Robbie Peralta and Maximo Blanco to begin his UFC tenure. The victory against Blanco came via disqualification after Corassani was unable to continue after absorbing an illegal knee that broke his nose at the TUF 18 Finale.
While the loss of “The Korean Zombie” is unfortunate, Holloway’s insertion into the mix should still lead to an entertaining contest. The talented Hawaiian has his sights set on continuing to climb the featherweight ladder while Corassani will be looking to bounce-back after tasting defeat in his last appearance.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for RantSports.com