Since Max Holloway’s defeat at the hands of lightweight Dustin Poirier, some folks have opined that “Blessed” should remain at 145 moving forward. But, according to the UFC champ’s teammate, Yancy Medeiros, there’s no question Holloway has a future fighting at lightweight.
Prior to UFC 236, the consensus seemed to be that Holloway would defeat Poirier for the interim lightweight title, and that the Hawaiian star’s run at 145 would likely conclude. After all, Holloway had talked extensively about moving up in weight, and it’s no secret he cuts a lot to make featherweight.
Well, at the end of the day, Poirier came out on top. Since the bout, many have talked about the fact Holloway looked undersized compared to Poirier, and that the latter had the power advantage. So, some observers have argued Holloway should focus on the division where he remains the king.
But, while talking to MMA Junkie recently, Medeiros had this take on the situation:
“Everyone is like, ‘Max can eat punches,’” Medeiros said. “Well, yeah, I punch him! That’s my main sparring partner. I don’t try to hurt him, but yeah he’s not the champ for nothing, man. He’s tough, man. He’s my main sparring partner, and he don’t spar with light guys. He spars with all ’55s and up. So it’s definitely a natural weight class for him. He’s my main sparring partner, and I train with the champ every weekend.”
“For Max, it was like a six-week camp, and I think he did great off a six-week camp. No excuses, I’m just saying Max having a longer camp? Way different results, I think. Not saying it would alter the win or the loss but if he had 13 weeks to train for Dustin. A lot more variables to take place.”
Yup, Medeiros has a good point here. Moving up a weight class and being able to physically conform and perform effectively, isn’t always just a matter of not cutting weight. It often takes times to adjust. So, the idea that UFC 236 proved Holloway has no future at 155 is ridiculous. Further, Holloway lost to one of the best lightweights on the planet. It’s not like he moved up to 155 and was defeated by someone who’s unranked.
Now, could Holloway find ways to make 145 more easily, and as a result, he’ll fight there longer than expected? Sure. But, when you consider Holloway is only 27, it would be pretty surprising if we don’t see him back at lightweight in the coming years.