Opinion: Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis will be a fight for the ages this weekend

They square off at UFC 206 for the interim featherweight title

BY Simon Maguire 15:44 Wednesday 7 December 2016, 15:44 7 Dec 2016

Featherweight Max Holloway Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

The main event at this weekend's UFC 206 promises fireworks as Max "Blessed" Holloway and Anthony "Showtime" Pettis square off for the interim featherweight title.

The furore of Conor McGregor being stripped of his featherweight title and the subsequent promotion of Jose Aldo to full champion of the division leaves this Saturday's main event as a number one contender battle to Aldo's new crown.

The course the UFC decided to take has come in for criticism from all angles but we are where we are and regardless of the politics, the fight itself should be a cracker.

Holloway is currently riding a nine fight win streak including impressive victories over Cub Swanson, Charles Oliveira, Jeremy Stephens and Ricardo Lamas.

In reality, he should have fought for the title by now but Conor McGregor's journey around the weight classes denied the Hawaiian the opportunity to avenge his 2013 defeat to the Dubliner. 

Since that defeat, Holloway has been on a tear and his game has evolved exponentially. His speed, technique and unpredictable attack have almost mirrored McGregor's own growth and the eventual rematch between the pair should be a barn-burner.

For the time being, he has his sights set on Pettis as his only road to a title shot. 

Former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis has struggled for form since losing his title to Rafael Dos Anjos in March 2015.

Going into that fight, Pettis was on top of the world. He had won five straight fights knocking off Joe Lauzon, Donald Cerrone and Benson Henderson on his way to the pinnacle of the lightweight division.

His outstanding kick-boxing and athleticism appeared to be unstoppable until he ran into Dos Anjos. The Brazilian never gave Pettis the space to operate in and wrestled his way to a lop-sided five round unanimous decision.

The nature of the beating appeared to stun the Milwaukee native and he wasn't the same fighter for quite some time.   

He dropped two more fights to Eddie Alvarez and Edison Barboza before heading to the 145 lbs division.

He submitted Charles Oliveira in his first gambit at the lower weight class and has skipped the queue to somehow be fighting for a number one contender spot despite losing three of his last four fights. 

Regardless of his fast-tracking to the top of the division, he remains and excellent stand-up fighter. 

Prediction

Holloway is a clever fighter and could follow the wresting blueprint to beat his foe this weekend but I think he fancies taking on "Showtime" at his own game. 

Holloway to win a unanimous five-round decision in a contender for fight of the year. 

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