On Saturday night, in the new main event of UFC 223, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway will take on undefeated Dagestani lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov. If Holloway can topple this challenge—an truly tough ask, given he’ll have had just 6 days to prepare—he’ll become the UFC lightweight champion too.
While Conor McGregor—the only other fighter to capture UFC gold at both featherweight and lightweight—has yet to defend a UFC title, Holloway assures that he will defend both of his titles if he defies the odds at UFC 223.
“It’s historic for sure,” Holloway said of his last-minute fight with Nurmagomedov in a recent Instagram Live video filmed by his manager Brian Butler-Au (via MMAJunkie). “Opportunities like this don’t come… they come once in a lifetime. Only one guy really had it already. This is historic. This is huge. Being a two-time champ, two weight division champ is great. But holding them two times is even greater, and defending them belts is going to be greater than that.”
The main concern for Holloway, as he’s said previously, is to be come a legend.
“I think this cements – this takes me to the step of being legendary status, and being a legend,” he said earlier in the same Instagram video “But I’ve got a lot more to do. I’m only 26. I’ve got a lot more time in the game and there’s a lot more fighters. But first things first: Khabib’s on the list — then after that we can go on from there.”
Max Holloway will enter this last-minute UFC 223 main event title fight on a 12-fight win-streak. Highlights of this run include dominant defeats of Andre Fili, Akira Corassani, Cub Swanson, Charles Oliveira, Jeremy Stephens, Ricardo Lamas, Anthony Pettis, and featherweight legend Jose Aldo (twice). His overall record stands at an impressive 19-3.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/4/2018.