Jose Aldo and Max Holloway. UFC

Kavanagh tips Holloway to defeat Aldo 'convincingly' this weekend

The pair will meet in a featherweight title unification bout in the main event at UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro.

MAX HOLLOWAY HAS been given the nod to overcome Jose Aldo by a man who knows both fighters well.

John Kavanagh, Conor McGregor’s coach, helped McGregor to get the better of both Holloway and Aldo during his run to the UFC featherweight belt.

Holloway and Aldo will square off this weekend in the main event at UFC 212. The winner of the 145lbs unification bout will be crowned undisputed featherweight champion following a period of upheaval in the division.

“I’ve said it since Conor fought him: apart from Conor, Max Holloway is the second-best guy at 145 [pounds],” Kavanagh told The42 ahead of Saturday night’s fight.

Despite tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his knee during the second round, McGregor cruised to a unanimous-decision victory over Holloway in August 2013.

However, Holloway rebounded from the loss in emphatic fashion, winning 10 consecutive bouts — the most recent of which saw him clinch an interim featherweight title at the expense of Anthony Pettis last December.

Aldo had been undefeated for over 10 years by the time McGregor knocked him out after 13 seconds of their bout in December 2015, which saw the Dubliner pick up the UFC featherweight title.

The Brazilian bounced back by defeating Frankie Edgar in July of last year in an interim title bout, before he was promoted to champion again in November due to McGregor’s failure to defend the belt.

Kavanagh has been impressed by what he has seen from Holloway while the Hawaiian has embarked on the sixth-longest win streak in UFC history. As he takes on a taller striker yet again, McGregor’s coach expects Saturday’s fight to make for another unfavourable match-up for Aldo.

John Kavanagh John Kavanagh Gary Carr / INPHO Gary Carr / INPHO / INPHO

“I think Holloway will win convincingly. There are a lot of similarities in both of their styles, in terms of being busy strikers who are used to guys trying to take them down,” said Kavanagh.

“Max is maybe a little bit more dangerous when it comes to submissions. He’ll go for guillotines and stuff on takedowns, whereas Aldo is almost exclusively about defending the takedown. I think Max has grown a lot too. Even since Conor fought him he has improved.

“Aldo tends to do better against short, stocky wrestlers. He seems to have the perfect game for that. I don’t know if there’s somebody of that style who could possibly beat him. He’s almost perfect for that style.

“But here he is again, in against somebody he very rarely faces: a taller, striking-based opponent. We might see Aldo having to struggle and look for takedowns. I actually think that will be Aldo’s approach, that he’ll try to grapple.

“But I think Holloway will either defend them, make him uncomfortable with submission attempts, or else he’ll be able to keep it on the feet and win a decision.

“I think that’s how it’ll play out: Holloway by decision.”

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