After UFC 223 debacle, Max Holloway is focused on defending his featherweight title—for now

Max Holloway

For a few days, it looked as though UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway would battle Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title in the main event of Saturday night’s UFC 223 card. Regrettably, however, Holloway was forced out of this contest by the New York State Athletic Commission when his weight cut was deemed to have gone awry.

With this brief plan for a lightweight title shot now in the rear-view, Holloway is now keen to defend his featherweight title—ideally against Brian Ortega, who was also offered a short notice bout against Nurmagomedov.

“I saw Ortega was there [at UFC 223], Ortega kept talking about how he wished it was him [that got the fight]– blah, blah, this and that,” Holloway told Hawaii News Now (transcribed my MMAJunkie). “I don’t know. Things happen for a reason. So I can’t wait to fight him. If that’s the next guy up, that’s the next guy up.”

“I can’t wait to do the damn thing and get it done,” he continued. “If not, I heard they just announced the LA card, right? [UFC 227] in August. It would be fun, going into another king’s home to dethrone a king again.”

While Holloway’s tentative plan is to defend his featherweight belt, he’s not giving up on another attempt at a lightweight title shot in the future.

“I’d love to [fight at lightweight], but the 155 division has been cursed,” Holloway explained. “I was trying to bless it Saturday, but it didn’t go too well. But we’ll see, we’ll see what happens. I’m only 26. I turn 27 at the end of the year, we’ll see what happens. But we finally got 145 rolling in the right space, so that’s what I want to do.”

Would you be interested in seeing Max Holloway and Brian Ortega fight for featherweight gold at UFC 227 on August 4 in Los Angeles?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/9/2018.