UFC: Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez show respect after colossal Fight Night showdown

Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez share a post-bout moment after their colossal UFC Fight Night showdown with both stars complimenting each other inside an ambulance before being taken to hospital

  • Max Holloway defeated Yair Rodriguez in a UFC ‘Fight of the Year’ contender 
  • After the bout, both stars showed their respect for each other in Las Vegas 
  • Holloway climbed inside an ambulance and complimented his beaten opponent 
  • He labelled Rodriguez as a ‘frickin’ animal’ before both then headed to hospital 

Max Holloway and Yair Rodriguez were embroiled in a colossal UFC bout for the ages on Saturday, but both fighters showed their deep respect for each other afterwards in the back of an ambulance.

Before they were taken to hospital for their grizzly injuries, Holloway took the time to make a beeline for his beaten opponent outside the venue and complimented him, warmly labelling him a ‘frickin’ animal’.

The duo continued to praise each other in a touching post-fight moment, and were taken away for precautionary checks following five rounds of gruelling action.

Max Holloway (R) and Yair Rodriguez (L) shared a moment after their colossal Fight Night bout

Holloway came out on top after five rounds in Las Vegas and he later showcased his respect

Holloway came out on top after five rounds in Las Vegas and he later showcased his respect

Holloway defeated Rodriguez on points at UFC Fight Night, keeping alive his bid to face featherweight kingpin Alex Volkanowski in a trilogy bout in the process.

The scorecards read 49-46, 48-47 and 48-47 from the cageside judges, and the showdown has been tipped to be a certain ‘Fight of the Year’ candidate.

Rodriguez entered the clash as the underdog, but delivered a battling showing in the octagon in Las Vegas, defying the bookies in his warrior-like loss.

In his first scrap in two years, the 29-year-old sustained notable swelling to his left leg but was quick to lavish praise on Holloway despite his setback.

Holloway congratulated members of Rodriguez's entourage before climbing into the ambulance

Once inside, the victor posed for a photo with his beaten opponent

Outside the venue, Holloway came out to compliment Rodriguez in the back of an ambulance

‘Max is an amazing fighter,’ Rodriguez said. ‘He has a lot of experience. He’s done an amazing job. I have nothing to do but accept [the loss].’

Meanwhile, a bullish Holloway said: ‘If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best – and the best is “Blessed,” baby.’

He then went on to add: ‘His boxing is pretty good. He moves like a boxer and then he turns elbows. This guy is a freakin’ beast.’

Holloway and Rodriguez were both forced to miss the post-fight press conference due to their injuries. 

Holloway and Rodriguez's showdown was labelled 'one of the best fights' Dana White has seen

Holloway and Rodriguez’s showdown was labelled ‘one of the best fights’ Dana White has seen

UFC president Dana White was left in awe of the spectacle, and described the bout as ‘one of the best fights I’ve ever seen.’ 

Ahead of the thrilling brawl, Holloway took aim at the UFC’s ‘elevator divas’ who wait to get to the top of the sport instead of taking the hard way and fighting regularly. 

‘The UFC, they don’t have this tournament structure, so a lot of these guys, they’re just waiting at the elevator,’ he said.

‘You know? They’re waiting at the elevator to go to the top.

Before he claimed victory, Holloway hit out at UFC 'elevator divas' who wait to reach the top

Before he claimed victory, Holloway hit out at UFC ‘elevator divas’ who wait to reach the top

‘And I’m not an elevator waiter. There’s no line at the stairs, so that’s where you can find me – at the stairs. This is not new for us. 

‘This is not new for us at all. For me and my team, it’s very important to not be elevator divas. I want to just get out there and keep doing the damn thing.’

‘Everybody else can figure out [who I’m talking about],’ he added. 

‘You guys can choose who the elevator divas are in this sport, but you know your boy will be at the stairs and we’ll be running up and down those bad boys.’