Last month, in the main event of the action-packed UFC 236 card, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway moved up to the lightweight division to battle Dustin Poirier for the division’s interim title.
Although Holloway put up a gutsy effort, even winning several rounds of this five-round war, he ultimately lost a unanimous decision to his bigger, stronger rival.
If you expected this loss to deter Max Holloway from jumping between weight classes again in the future, well, think again.
The Hawaiian, who is set to defend his featherweight title against Frankie Edgar at UFC 240, says weight classes really don’t matter to him. As he puts it, nobody asked the gladiators about their weight in ancient Rome.
“Lightweight was great. Lightweight was fun,” Max Holloway said at Tactical Strength and Conditioning on Monday (transcript via Hawaii News Now). “155 was 155. Just like how 170 will be 170, just like how when I make my heavyweight debut, it’s gonna be a heavyweight debut. It is what it is. Weight is weight, I don’t care. I’m a modern day gladiator. Back in the day, gladiators didn’t ask you about your weight. They just showed up to the arena and they fought. That’s what I do every night.”
UFC 236 marked the first time Max Holloway had tasted defeat since a 2013 decision loss to Conor McGregor. In that unbeaten span, he racked up a whopping 13-straight victories, including triumphs over Jose Aldo (twice), Brian Ortega, Jeremy Stephens, Cub Swanson, Ricardo Lamas, Charles Oliveira, Anthony Pettis, and Andre Fili. While his focus seems to have returned to his duties as the UFC featherweight champion, it sure doesn’t sound like we’ve seen the last of him in the lightweight division — and perhaps even beyond that.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 5/29/2019.