After Brian Ortega did what no man has done before to Frankie Edgar, the hype surrounding a big title fight against UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway is growing to epic proportions. In many ways, it almost mirrors the UFC 223 fight against Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Holloway is on a 12-fight win streak and Ortega is on a 13-fight win streak. A fight like this hasn’t gone down in the division since Conor McGregor’s scrap against Jose Aldo. It’s reasons like this why Holloway believes this fight is huge.
“My interest in fighting [Brian Ortega]: I’m very intrigued. I can’t wait to fight. I love fighting and I love competition. You want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. The best is ‘Blessed,’ and right now he’s saying and people are saying he’s the one. I can’t wait. We’ll find out. […] He proved to the world why he’s the No. 1 contender. Looks like I’ve got a new cupcake flavor, so I’m excited. I like horchata, so I can get that horchata flavor – it’s delicious.”
— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) March 8, 2018
“I think this fight is huge. He’s got a lot of fans. It’s exciting. I think it’s a huge fight. I think people are talking more about this one than the Frankie [Edar] one. It’s cool; this is finally the first fighter that I didn’t watch growing up. Everyone is telling me he’s the future, but I’m right here. I’m the present. […] Last year I was the GOAT featherweight, now this year I’m a nobody and a guy who is going to lose my belt because time passed me, but last year was three months ago. These guys think they’re going to beat me and it’s just another reason why I’m going to prove I’m the best to do it. These are the kind of fights I want.” — Max Holloway speaking to MMA Junkie.
No one, not even the former featherweight king, has been able to stop Max Holloway since 2014. Meanwhile, Brian Ortega has proved that he’s not just a contender, but a true challenger to the throne. Will the Blessed Era continue, or will Ortega threaten a revolution? The two don’t have a date for their battle yet, but Dana White has called Ortega to tell him he is next.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/16/2018.