Max Holloway demonstrated in very impressive fashion last night that he indeed remains one of the planet’s best fighters. So, what could be next for the UFC’s featherweight champ? Could “Blessed” be headed for a ‘superfight’ with the likes of Conor McGregor or Khabib Nurmagomedov?
Holloway took on rising featherweight, Brian Ortega at UFC 231, and went on to hand the latter his first pro-defeat. Both men landed some big shots during the thrilling fight, but Holloway scored much more often and by the end of round four, Ortega’s left eye was almost completely shut. The bout was called to a halt.
With the win, Holloway extended his winning streak to an awe-inspiring, 13, and that run dates back to 2013, when he lost via decision to McGregor. Following last night’s victory, Holloway had this to say, while discussing what could be next for the Hawaiian star (quotes via MMA Fighting):
“Khabib is another undefeated fighter,” Holloway said. “I got this niche, I guess. I just gave an undefeated fighter his first loss. So maybe that one might excite me the most. We were supposed to have that one. So we’ll see what happens. I don’t know. I ain’t picky. Feed me. They all can get it.”
“Dana White is the boss. The boss is looking for superfights. All the UFC guys, you guys — you guys be talking about me fighting at 55 for super fights. I keep hearing the name Conor, Khabib.
“Everybody talks about the top three guys. Everybody talks about Tony (Ferguson). Everybody wants to see me and Conor, because we fought when I was a kid. A long time ago. Dennis beat that Max, too — Dennis Bermudez beat that Max a couple years ago. So, the top 20 featherweights in the world — 30 — would beat that Max. It is what it is.”
Now, of course, bouts between Holloway and Khabib, Ferguson and a rematch with McGregor all sound awesome, and there’s no doubt fans would like to see those. Further, there’s no huge fight really for Holloway right now at 145 (Renato “Moicano” would likely be next), and White has talked repeatedly about how he wants “Blessed” to move up to 155.
But, it certainly seems like the UFC wants to move forward with Nurmagomedov – Ferguson next. The key issue there is what happens to Khabib, in terms of a suspension, on account of the post-fight incident at UFC 229. Holloway – McGregor would also be big, naturally, but is the latter interested in that fight? Considering he defeated Holloway once before? Maybe; if the UFC tied a title shot to it?
So, we’ll see what happens. Hopefully the UFC can put together another big-time fight for Holloway, at a juncture when his star has never been brighter.