There has been a lot of hype about Justin Lawrence since his appearance on TUF. Max Holloway came in and derailed that hype with an impressive second-round TKO of Lawrence in a battle between two of the young guns in the UFC’s featherweight division.
A close opening round saw Justin Lawrence start with a mix of kicks to offset the reach of Max Holloway. Holloway stayed patient establishing his jab as he took the center of the cage. Lawrence scored a takedown later in the round but was unable to keep Holloway grounded as the fight headed back to the feet. Lawrence scored to the body before absorbing an illegal blow to the groin that stopped the action for a short time as time wound down on the opening stanza.
Holloway found his range in the second, peppering Lawrence with his jab and piecing together stinging combinations while shrugging off repeated takedown attempts for Lawrence. Lawrence fired back, landing a couple of lead left hooks and uppercuts, but the fight changed quickly when Holloway scored inside with a brutal knee to the body.
The shot forced Lawrence to retreat against the cage, but Holloway would not let him escape. He followed up with a crushing right hand to the body, then put the finishing shot to the liver with a left hand that dropped Lawrence. A flurry from the top forced a referee stoppage at 4:49 of the second round.
The impressive TKO win moves Holloway to 6-1 overall and 2-1 in the UFC. The loss marks the first for Lawrence as he drops to 4-1 (1-1 UFC).