5 Punishing MMA Moves from UFC Champ Max Holloway

By | December 3, 2018

Max Holloway will tell you he’s blessed, which is hard to deny given his status as the reigning undisputed UFC featherweight champion. But it’s clear that the 26-year-old fighter backs up his good fortune with a legit set of skills.

Holloway has amassed a 19-3 record over his seven-year career, making him one of the most successful combatants in his weight class. He’s used a mix of technical mastery of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai and undeniable swagger to rise through the MMA ranks. Holloway is currently riding a 12 match win streak, with his last loss coming more than five years ago in 2013.

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Before Holloway defends his title at UFC 231 on Saturday, December 8 against Brian Ortega, he stopped in to Men’s Health HQ to show off the top five moves he’s used in the Octagon to dominate opponents and ascend to champion status.

Check out the video above to master the moves yourself to become, in Holloway’s words, a “certified ninja.” Just be ready to put in the work.

Max Holloway’s Top 5 Moves


Men’s Health

For all of these moves, stand in an athletic stance with one foot slightly ahead of the other. If you’re right handed, put your left foot forward. If you’re a southpaw (left-handed), lead with your right. Use these strikes against a bag, or, in a controlled sparring setting, against an opponent.

        “I live by the jab,” Holloway says. To perform the move, strike straight ahead with your front arm, aiming to strike your opponent with your first two knuckles.

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            The cross is a more powerful strike, using your rear arm. Holloway says that he likes to set up opponents with several jabs, then unleashes his right arm (which has his nickname, blessed, tattooed down it’s length) in a vicious cross.

              Holloway uses this open-handed strike to shock his opponents. “It’s a good range-finder,” He says. “It’s a good way to have people just be blown away, like, did this man just slap me?”

              • 4. Flying Knee

                Holloway compares the flying knee to the flashiest moves of other sports, like dunks in basketball and football players hurdling opponents. “You look cool doing it, you get style points, and you feel like a certified ninja, so that’s why I love the flying knee.” To perform the move, jump straight up into the air from your fight stance, switching positions and driving your rear knee forward.

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                • 5. Switch Kick

                  “One of the craziest things to hit someone with is a left switch kick,” Holloway says. “If you hit somebody in the head, who knows what’s going on.” From a right-hander’s perspective, you’re performing a quick hop to bring your right foot forward, then pivoting on that foot to strike with your left leg.

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