Back at UFC 236, UFC featherweight champ Max Holloway made his debut in the UFC lightweight division, taking on Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight strap. Unfortunately for the Hawaiian and his ever-growing fanbase, this move to lightweight didn’t go as planned, as he lost a unanimous decision to Poirier and saw his 13-fight win-streak disintegrate in the process.
Speaking to MMA Junkie recently, Yancy Medeiros, one of Holloway’s chief training partners, gave his take on Holloway’s lightweight debut.
He’s still optimistic that lightweight is a great division for Holloway, and that the featherweight champ would have performed better with a longer camp.
“Everyone is like, ‘Max can eat punches,’” Medeiros said of the fight. “Well, yeah, I punch him! That’s my main sparring partner. I don’t try to hurt him, but yeah he’s not the champ for nothing, man. He’s tough, man. He’s my main sparring partner, and he don’t spar with light guys. He spars with all ’55s and up. So it’s definitely a natural weight class for him. He’s my main sparring partner, and I train with the champ every weekend.
“For Max, it was like a six-week camp, and I think he did great off a six-week camp,” Medeiros said. “No excuses, I’m just saying Max having a longer camp? Way different results, I think. Not saying it would alter the win or the loss but if he had 13 weeks to train for Dustin. A lot more variables to take place.”
Do you think Max Holloway has what it takes to eventually capture the belt in the lightweight division?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 4/23/2019.