Waianae native Max Holloway fights Saturday night in a rematch with Jose Aldo.
While some were disappointed with the draw on short notice, Max is more fired up than ever.
"I was getting ready, I was devoting my time, sacrificing my time from my kid, flew in a nutritionist, I did a bunch of stuff, changed a bunch of stuff, I spent a lot of money on this camp," Holloway said.
That's how Max Holloway's been spending the past month or so, sacrificing and grinding.
When Hawaii News Now caught up with him, he was punishing opponents for six five-minute rounds at practice. And for the last round he specifically asked for a fighter, Maki Pitolo, two weight classes above him.
He said that was a key when he defeated Aldo in his last fight.
“I went in there, I got hit by stuff,” Holloway said. “Everybody scared about the first round. I got left hooked, straight right, left hook, and then that flying knee. Everybody was scared. The whole time in my mind I was thinking, “You don't hit as hard as Maki. He's a 45'er. Maki's a 170'er."
After his original opponent Frankie Edgar had to withdraw because of injury, Max and his team entertained other options, including moving up to the 155-pound weight class.
“We was looking to fight 55 man. You know. And a bunch of names came up when we said we go 55. You know? But Aldo got the straw I guess and he's the next one up. It is what it is.”
So since he's staying put at 145, he's determined to maximize every pound he's got. He hired a nutritionist/chef, who lives with him.
While we scarfed down mashed potatoes and whatever dessert grandma baked on Thanksgiving, he had a carefully crafted meal with a specific amount of calories.
Was that a problem? No.
“Everybody tell me salads. This guy got me eating carbs. This guy got me eating red meat, chicken, fish. I'm still eating poke bowls. He's great. He's been making a lot of Hawaiian plates, too, and for me, it's just healthier. I was tripping out. I was like, 'can I eat this? Can I eat this?' Give me the portion size. Are you sure? This is a lot. He said, ‘no worry, your weight's gonna be fine.’ Sure enough my weight's fine.”
Come Saturday, Max fully expects to extend his win streak to 11 straight. And after that, you can expect to hear a familiar rant.
“If everything goes as planned, you'll be hearing me scream my name one more time UFC Hawaii, like crazy, like I always do. I need your guys' support. Hawaii's support. UFC Hawaii. I love the support I've been feeling it. Get on social media. Get on your guys' cats page, your guys' dogs page, your grandma's page. Make fake accounts, Hashtag UFC Hawaii. Let's get it.”
He's hoping a win this weekend convinces UFC President Dana White to bring an event down to Hawaii.
This is Max's fourth fight as a UFC headliner. He won the last three.
Holloway is the main event Saturday night. The main card starts at 5 p.m. Hawaii time.
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