At present, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway has his crosshairs locked on undefeated challenger Brian Ortega, who he will fight at UFC 226 on July 7.
While this featherweight title fight is at the forefront of Holloway’s mind, however, the featherweight division is not his permanent home.
Speaking on the UFC 226 media conference call, Holloway said point-blank that his intention is eventually to move up to the lightweight division — not just because he’s running out of fresh foes at featherweight, but because he’s getting too big for the division.
“Of course I’m definitely going to go up,” Holloway said (transcribed by Damon Martins for MMANytt.com). “It’s just a matter of time, who’s left at 45 and then medically wise, too. There’s a bunch of questions that we can sit down and talk to the UFC after this fight but first things first I’ve got business to handle at 45, a throne to defend and I’ve got one of the biggest fights of my life coming up next week.”
Holloway’s first fight in the UFC lightweight division, of course, very nearly occurred back in April, when he stepped up to battle Khabib Nurmagomedov on short notice at UFC 223. Regrettably, this plan was derailed when he wasn’t able to make weight for the bout.
All the same, Holloway seems to foresee a future meeting with Nurmagomedov down the road — although he understands there are plenty of other deserving contenders at the front of the line at lightweight.
“155 [pounds] right now, no disrespect to the guys up there but it’s a logjam,” Holloway said. “It’s been a logjam for two years. 145 we’ve got everything rolling. We had a logjam and now we’re rolling, we’ll keep the ball rolling.
“If we go up there, who would I fight? I don’t know who they’d want me to fight,” he added. “There’s Khabib or whoever. We’ll see what happens.”
How do you think Max Holloway will perform when he eventually moves to lightweight?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/1/2018.