At UFC 236, which goes down on April 13 in Atlanta, Georgia, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway will hike up to the lightweight division to battle streaking contender Dustin Poirier for the division’s interim title.
Given that Holloway has always endured a pretty significant weight cut down to the featherweight division, some fans have wondered if this move up to lightweight could be permanent.
That being said, it sounds as though Holloway plans to return to the featherweight division — perhaps even as soon as this summer.
“After that (Brian) Ortega fight I had to take some time personally and some business stuff, then they came to me with this fight in April,” Holloway said at the UFC 236 press conference last week (transcript via MMAjunkie). “Can’t let it slip through your fingers. At the end of the day, first things first, I got Dustin Poirier, and we’ll talk to the UFC after that. I don’t think Frankie (Edgar) or Jose (Aldo) deserve a champ that’s not willing to defend for a year. After this one I could go back down in the summer. That would be fun. But first things first, April 13.”
While it sounds as though Max Holloway still has ambition to defend his featherweight strap, he also made it clear that he intends to send a message to undisputed lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov with a victory over Poirier.
“Khabib said he wanted to fight me, but he wanted me to prove myself,” Holloway said. “I got Dustin. April 13, I decided to prove myself. I’m going to go out there and prove myself, and when he’s ready to come back, I’ll be ready.”
What do you think the future holds for the featherweight king Max Holloway? Join the conversation in the comments section.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/6/2019.