While Conor McGregor took the year off from UFC, a new star has emerge and is dominating the competition.

 Max Holloway defeated Jose Aldo for the 2nd time in the main event, as he poured on a barrage of strikes at 4:50 into the 3rd round. The 1st time these 2 athletes locked horns, it was Holloway who walked away with the featherweight crown, after stopping Aldo with strikes in the 3rd round at UFC 212, and history has repeated itself.

Holloway, 25, was too young, too strong and too hungry. UFC’s rising young star made an emphatic first defense of his 145-pound title by securing a second straight third-round TKO victory over Aldo, who had ruled the division for nearly a decade.

Aldo, 31, was fully healthy and refocused this time around. He was also effective, fighting at worst even with Holloway (19-3) through two rounds. But Aldo, who needed two attempts to make weight on Friday, used up too much energy to get there. Once Holloway was able to lure Aldo (26-4) into a war in Round 3, the fading champion was easy pickings.

I knew he was tired already. My trainer said, ‘Let’s take him into deep waters. I know he can’t swim there and we are going to drown him.’ That’s exactly what I  did, Holloway said.

Could Max Holloway be next for Conor McGregor?

Who knows for sure, but the two UFC champions took quality shots at each other Sunday on social media.

2018 should be an interesting year in the UFC.