History can wait. But Max Holloway doesn’t plan on waiting around long to defend his UFC featherweight title, even after a disappointing turn of events over the last few days.
The Waianae native stepped up on six days notice to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov in this past Saturday’s UFC 223 main event for the lightweight title, but fell short of the 155-pound weight limit after the NYSAC prevented Holloway from cutting anymore weight.
But now that he’s had time to process what went down in Brooklyn, Holloway has centered himself and is ready to return to the Octagon in the coming months to take on all challengers, including the presumed No. 1 contender in Brian Ortega.
“Ortega kept talking about how he wish it was him and blah blah, this and that, I don’t know. Things happen for a reason,” Holloway said. “I can’t wait to fight him. If that’s the next guy up, then that’s the next guy up and I can’t wait to do the damn thing.”
As for when a possible title fight with Ortega would take place, Holloway already has a date in mind.
“July 7th is something that I wanna get on, I wanna get on D.C’s (Daniel Cormier) card. Me and my man D.C.,” he said. “I don’t know how we became friends I don’t know how we did it, we became the new Rob and Big I guess.”
July 7th is UFC 226 featuring a heavyweight superfight between light heavyweight champion, Cormier, and heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic, a card that is need of a co-main event.
If Holloway can defeat Ortega, he will have cleaned out the 145-pound division with the exception of Frankie Edgar, who was knocked out cold by Ortega and now has an upcoming bout with Cub Swanson.
Having cleaned out the featherweight division, the time will come for Holloway to move up a weight class to 155 pounds which features the likes of Nurmagomedov, Tony Ferguson and Conor McGregor - all fighters who Holloway has talked about fighting in recent months.
“I keep telling you guys I’m a big 145er, I was even a big 155er for this one,” Holloway said.
For now, Holloway is back home on the westside recovering from a tough weight cut before he gets back into the swing of things. But don’t think that just because Holloway has pulled out of two fights so far this year that the Hawaiian isn’t looking to fight at least two more times in the next six months.
Earlier this morning on the MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Holloway mentioned the possibility of coming out of the Ortega fight clean to fight again in November at Madison Square Garden.
A November date for Holloway could be one of three things. 1) A rematch with Ortega if he were to lose this summer. 2) A title defense against the winner of Frankie Edgar vs. Cub Swanson or 3) A move up to lightweight to take on the best that the division has to offer.
But at this point, it doesn’t matter which scenario plays out. Because after this week, the fight world knows that Holloway is game to fight anyone, anytime, anywhere at any weight.
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