Max Holloway came up short in his attempt to win the UFC’s interim lightweight title. But, “Blessed” is still very confident he can make some waves in the weight class. Is the UFC’s featherweight king off base? Probably not.
As you surely know, Holloway has talked about moving up to 155 for some time, due to how much weight he cuts to make 145. This past April, the UFC tapped Holloway for a shot at the interim 155 belt against Dustin Poirier. The latter, however, outscored Holloway and he won the contest via unanimous decision.
Well, up next, Holloway will look to defend his featherweight title against Frankie Edgar at UFC 240, June 27th. The decision to return to featherweight was welcomed by many observers, since Poirier appeared to be the bigger, harder hitting man at UFC 236.
But, while discussing his future recently, Holloway said this (quotes via MMA Junkie):
“Birds fly, fishes swim, I fight,” Holloway said. “It ain’t nothing. You send me a contract with Daniel Cormier’s name on top tomorrow, you know I’m signing it. ‘DC’ I love you, my man, but I’m a fighter. It is what it is. This is a bump in the road and I can’t wait to get back. ’55 is still there. ’55 there’s a lot of challenges.
“When I lost to Dustin the first time at ’45, the ladder was so long to the belt. But the ’55 ladder, it’s right there. I’m in the mix. If I go up there I feel I’ll be right in the mix with all the top contenders. No disrespect to them, but I think it’s a fun weight class to be. We’ll see what happens.”
Now, do we know for certain that Holloway can be a top contender in the lightweight division? Maybe not. But, it would be ridiculous to rule it out as a possibility, due to what happened against Poirier.
Many fighters need time to effectively acclimate to a new weight class physically. Holloway, however, defended the featherweight title back in December against Brian Ortega. So, when you consider his awe-inspiring abilities, chances are Holloway can be a serious player at lightweight, provided he has enough time to physically prepare for the move.
This is a guy who has defeated Jose Aldo twice, Anthony Pettis, Jeremy Stephens, Charles Oliveira and the aforementioned Ortega. All of these fighters have either competed at 155, talked about fighting at lightweight or are big for the featherweight division. They’re also all ridiculously dangerous and skilled fighters as well.
First things first, however, and that’s getting by the legendary Edgar at UFC 240.