Former featherweight champion Max Holloway has revealed he will not participate in sparring ahead of his fight with top contender Calvin Kattar which is set to go down on January 16.

Holloway will be taking part in his first non-title bout since 2016 when he squares off against heavy-hitter Kattar in the first UFC event of 2021. ‘Blessed’ is hoping to earn another crack at current 145lb king Alexander Volkanovski after twice falling to decision defeats against the Australian fighter.

Ahead of his last fight with Volkanovski, Holloway was unable to spar due to the impacts of COVID-19 and admitted much of his training took place via Zoom. Despite that, Holloway looked sensational at UFC 251 and was unlucky to walk away without the title after being on the wrong side of a contentious split decision result.

In an interview with ESPN, Holloway revealed he enjoyed how camp went for his last bout and will once again avoid sparring in order to stay fresh for fight night, he said.

“I really loved how the last camp I didn’t spar. It opened my eyes. I get injured sparring a lot before fights and I felt great going inside that fight without sparring.

“… Sparring is like an ego trip. I understand you got to do something but you can figure out different ways to move and get it done. … During the whole training camp, it helped a lot to actually put our priorities straight. I got to take out some things, I got to add a little more things. It was just changing up the recipe and the last one, I thought went pretty well and we’re kind of sticking to it and we’ll see how this one goes.” (Transcribed by The Body Lock)

Do you think Max Holloway is smart to avoid sparring ahead of a fight with Calvin Kattar?

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A lifelong fight fan from Liverpool, England who has been covering mixed martial arts (MMA) and boxing for several years. Follow @JordanEllisUK on Twitter for all the latest fight news, views, interviews and live event coverage.