Max Holloway: ‘Khabib Time Can Meet the ‘Blessed’ Era’ After Taking Care of Brian Ortega
Only having six days to prepare didn’t stop Max Holloway from accepting a challenge to face Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 and it won’t prevent him from gunning for that fight again one day soon.
Holloway stepped up to take on Nurmagomedov after an injury forced former interim champion Tony Ferguson out of their bout with just days remaining until the event.
Unfortunately, Holloway was ultimately pulled from the card after the New York State Athletic Commission had concerns over his weight cut to get down to the 155-pound limit so he never got the chance to face Nurmagomedov the next night.
Ultimately, Nurmagomedov defeated Al Iaquinta to become lightweight champion — a fight Holloway says he never even bothered to watch.
Now Holloway is set to return to featherweight where he will defend his title against No. 1 contender Brian Ortega at UFC 226 but if everything goes well on July 7, don’t discount the possibility that the Hawaiian might start looking for that fight against Nurmagomedov again.
“It is what it is, I’ve got Brian Ortega next, another undefeated guy. If we take care of business then, I keep hearing him talking about how the UFC is giving him the opportunity to fight Khabib if everything goes good so let’s run that one back,” Holloway told “UFC Tonight” this week.
“I’m going to take care of business July 7 and then Khabib time can meet ‘Blessed’ era for real this time since he was trying to make every excuse why I took the fight on six days notice.”
Holloway has long talked about venturing up to the lightweight division at some point in his career, especially considering the weight cut he endures to get down to 145 pounds.
Of course, Holloway will never shy away from challenges at featherweight but he also likes the idea of testing himself against the best of the best that the lightweight division has to offer to him.
“For sure. UFC, I’m just one call away. Six days, six months, whatever, I’ll be ready,” Holloway said. “I’m running out of cupcake flavors over here. Like I said, I like retrying them but I want to try new flavors and there’s a lot of new flavors up there so we’ll see what happens.
“When the call comes, the call comes.”