UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway succeeded to defend his title for the second time after beating Brian Ortega via a fourth-round TKO at UFC 231 at Scotiabank Arena. While most fighters prefer to take some time to rest after engaging in an epic fight, it seems like “Blessed” already has an idea in mind on who he wants to fight next.
In the UFC 231 post-fight press conference, Max Holloway expressed his desire to move up to the lightweight division to fight undefeated champion Khabib Nurmagomedov. Holloway revealed that he is “most excited” about his potential matchup with “The Eagle.”
“Khabib is another undefeated fighter. I got this niche, I guess. I just gave an undefeated fighter his first loss. So maybe that one might excite me the most,” Holloway said, as transcribed by SB Nation’s Bloody Elbow.
The UFC doesn’t seem to have any problem with Max Holloway’s plan to fight in the lightweight division. As a matter of fact, it was UFC President Dana White who is urging Holloway to move up to a heavier weight class, per MMA Fighting.
“Max is a grown man and we need to talk,” White said. “But I’d like to see Max go to ’55 now. I think that the guy’s 27 going on 28 years old, he’s in the prime of his life, never looked better. Continues to improve with every single fight that he’s in and I think he’s done everything he can do at ’45. Why keep cutting that weight? I think there’s some big things for him at ’55.”
Most mixed martial arts fans will surely love to see a champ versus champ match between the kings of the featherweight and lightweight divisions. Last April, Max Holloway was supposed to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight belt after he agreed to serve as a replacement for Tony Ferguson. Unfortunately, “Blessed” was pulled from the fight due to the severity of his short notice weight cut.
Though Holloway has now more time to prepare for his potential fight against Nurmagomedov, it remains unknown if the UFC will let him be the next challenger for “The Eagle.” After Nurmagomedov succeeded to defend his title against Conor McGregor, UFC President Dana White revealed that they plan to give UFC lightweight contender Tony Ferguson the chance to fight for the title.
So far, the UFC hasn’t made any official announcement regarding who Max Holloway will fight next. If Khabib Nurmagomedov won’t be available, Tony Ferguson said in a Twitter post that he is willing to fight Holloway in the Octagon.