MMA | 1 week ago
Will Smith can partly be credited for Max Holloway's insane calmness for Jose Aldo rematch
In West Philadelphia, born and raised...

If Max Holloway was any more laid back ahead of UFC 218, he would have been horizontal.

Undisputed featherweight king Max Holloway has never been the most stressed out fighter in the world, but he reached a whole new level of calmness during UFC 218 fight week.

The fight world can be very unforgiving. Had Holloway lost to Jose Aldo in Detroit, it may have erased the memory of his sensational beatdown of the Brazilian legend six months earlier for a lot of people. Considering how definitive and clinical the finish was in the first fight, 'Blessed' was expected to win the rematch.

As they say, pressure creates diamonds. Rather than bow underneath all that force, Holloway took it all in his stride. He was the paragon of calmness to the point where it may have been misconstrued as arrogance or complacency. In reality, he was just supremely confident in the work he had done in the build-up that orrying would have been a wasted effort.

Max Holloway

It wasn't just plebs who had their concerns about Holloway's serene demeanour. Even his coaches showed concern about his composure after the Aldo rematch, as he explained during a recent interview with MMAJunkie Radio. The man himself was also alarmed by it, albeit briefly.

"My coach, after my fight he told me, 'Man, everything alright?' 'Everything is good, coach.' He's like, 'I don't know, man. This feels different. You're usually a little bit more on edge in the back before the fight and this and that.'"

"Every fight I get more relaxed and this fight I was so relaxed I told coach I was so relaxed, I was kind of nervous how relaxed I was, but I knew I was ready, so I didn't care. The time in there, having these big fights and being in the spotlight and just enjoying the ride. I was enjoying it. I knew all the hard work I did."

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In a strange twist, Holloway admitted that Hollywood megastar Will Smith helped inspire his fresh outlook on fear. The Hawaiian credited watching a viral video of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air giving a speech about skydiving as a moment that really put things in perspective.

"You shouldn't fear anything that's about to happen. There's this YouTube video where Will Smith talks about skydiving and fear and how the opposite side of fear is being the most blissful. I watched that a couple of months back and it hit me hard."

"Why are you worrying about life walking around with an umbrella on a sunny day waiting for the rain? Don't wait for it. Just be ok when it happens and be ready for it, but don't worry about it too much. Don't put too much stress and effort into it."

Perusing YouTube can be more than just an effective means of procrastination. Who knows, maybe someday scrolling through cat videos could give you the boot up the hole you need to be great.

Probably not, but if Holloway did it...

Gif credit: MMA Fighting

While you're here, check out the latest episode of #SportsJOElive where we had Donegal pro boxer Jason Quigley, Cork Camogie star Ashling Thompson, alongside the ever-brilliant Dion Fanning in the studio!


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UFC, Max Holloway, UFC 218