Firas Zahabi Criticizes Max Holloway’s Decision-Making At UFC 236

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Holloway Poirier 2
Image Credit: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Renowned coach Firas Zahabi believes Max Holloway could’ve had a better performance against Dustin Poirier.

Earlier this month, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight title holder Holloway moved up in weight in a bid to capture the interim UFC lightweight championship. Poirier was able to thwart the efforts of “Blessed,” taking a unanimous decision victory in an action-packed bout. Poirier is now set to challenge Khabib Nurmagomedov in a title unification bout, while Holloway is expected to move back down and defend his 145-pound gold.

Zahabi Talks Holloway’s UFC 236 Performance

While many have chalked up Holloway’s loss to simply running into the better man, Zahabi feels “Blessed” could’ve done more. He explained why during a Reddit AMA (via Bloody Elbow):

“Poirier fought smart, and Holloway fought with his heart. Holloway fought blood and guts, he fought with his heart. So did Poirier, but he fought with heart and brains. He was just more strategic than Holloway. He was playing the game, whereas Holloway was trying to win with pure heart and grit.”

“It was a poor choice. I thought he could have done better. He forgot to move his feet, he forgot to move his head, he forgot to parry. He forgot all these things. Why? Because he was too busy egging on Poirier to hit him. And Poirier was more than willing to hit him. He landed the more powerful strikes, the cleanest strikes, and Poirier was more defensively responsible. Let’s just be honest, at the end of the day, Holloway was defensively irresponsible.”

Do you agree with Firas Zahabi?