Max Holloway Still Interested in Lightweight But He May Wait Until ‘Logjam’ Clears

Max Holloway is still interested in pursuing a second world title at lightweight but he admits right now there's a logjam at the top of the division

Max Holloway will eventually move to the lightweight division.

The reigning UFC featherweight champion nearly jumped up to a new division in April when he was scheduled to face Khabib Nurmagomedov on short notice until he was pulled from the fight due to concerns over his weight cut.

Holloway has always been a large fighter competing at 145 pounds so he knows his days at featherweight are numbered and he understands the kinds of opportunities that could be afforded to him at lightweight.

“At the end of the day, Dana White said it, he said it when I took that fight [against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223], that thing was projecting at doing as big as [UFC] 205 and you guys know how big that 205 was, that’s a million plus buys,” Holloway said during the UFC 226 media conference call. “We’ll see what happens.”

While Holloway is definitely focused on his next title defense against Brian Ortega at UFC 226 next weekend, he always has his sights set on the potential of winning a second world title in a different division.

The problem right now according to Holloway is that lightweight looks like a Los Angeles highway at 5 p.m. on a Friday afternoon.

“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. There’s Khabib or whoever. We’ll see what happens.”

Holloway isn’t wrong considering Nurmagomedov is champion and it’s likely his first title defense would come against former lightweight king Conor McGregor when he finally makes his return to action. There’s also Tony Ferguson, who was the interim champion until an injury forced him out of the fight with Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 in April.

On top of that, there are several contenders vying for title contention after Kevin Lee decimated Edson Barboza just recently while Dustin Poirier is preparing to face Eddie Alvarez in a crucial bout at 155 pounds in late July.

In other words, there’s no guarantee that Holloway would get a title shot now or get pushed into a different fight if he moved to 155 pounds.

That’s why he’s biding his time for now but the Hawaiian native knows that he will end up at lightweight, he’s just not certain when it will happen.

“Of course I’m definitely going to go up,” Holloway said. “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.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.