UFC 218: Max Holloway Wanted Swanson, Offered To Fight Cerrone, Got Aldo
Many fighters claim they are willing to take on anyone at anytime, but Max Holloway proved last week that he means it when he says it.
Just last week, Frankie Edgar had to pull out of his scheduled title fight with Holloway at UFC 218 when he suffered a bad facial laceration during his training. Despite the disappointment of his original opponent having to pull out, the Hawaiian made it very clear from the outset that he wanted to remain on the card and that he was ready to take on all challengers.
Holloway’s manager, Brian Butler of SuckerPunch Entertainment, spoke to MMANytt.com earlier today and described the process that led to Holloway being rebooked.
“As you can imagine, when we got the news, Max and his team were highly disappointed, but we also knew Frankie would only pull out for a good reason,” Butler said. “Sean let us know he was working on a replacement, but the options were pretty limited because Max had effectively cleaned out the division on his journey to gaining the belt.”
“While the UFC was working through options on their end, we of course were throwing ideas out as well.
“We thought Cub Swanson was the obvious choice because he’s put together a good win streak since they last fought.”
“It also seemed to be what the fans were chirping for on social media.”
Swanson wasn’t the only man that Holloway was ready to take on. Butler explained how Holloway was considering even taking a fight at lightweight to stay on UFC 218.
“We were also ready for Ortega, but to be fair there wasn’t much buzz online for that,” Butler said. “We also said would go to 155-pounds and fight Ferguson, or even the winner of the Poirier if he beat Pettis and came out unscathed.
“Max just wanted to fight and was ready to take anyone.”
One man who’s saved countless UFC fight cards down the years is Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. With this in mind, Butler reached out to Cerrone to see if he would be down to face Holloway at 155-pounds and you can probably guess what his response was.
“We did in fact contact Cowboy to see if he would be down to save another card for the UFC and fight Max at 155,” Butler said.
“Of course, Cowboy was down, no questions asked.”
“It wouldn’t have been a title fight, but I think it would have been a fun one for the fans to watch. Either way, we were down to fight anyone.”
Swanson, Ferguson, Ortega, Poirier or Cerrone were the fights the UFC wanted to pursue. Instead, the UFC chose to rematch Holloway with the man he won the UFC featherweight title from earlier this year.
“We then we got the call saying Dana wanted the Aldo rematch,” Butler said. “We had our questions as to why this was their choice and we definitely thought Cub deserved it.
“However, at the end of the day this is what we got and Max is never one to back down so we took it.
“Max wasn’t happy either and said to me, ‘It is what it is, let’s prove it to them again’.”