"My coach always says, 'Eat whatever you want because this could be your last meal'."
Max Holloway has fought three times in seven months but he is keen to go again before 2019 is wrapped.
Holloway McGregor II would be a fight most MMA fans would lap up, but it may be a while away yet.
The Hawaiian put another another controlled, dominant exhibition of striking and takedown defence to take a unanimous decision victory over Frankie Edgar at UFC 240. Edgar hung tough in the lightweight title decider but lost out 50-45, 50-45 and 48-47 on the judges' scorecards.
Ahead of the fight, there were some fight fans worried about how Holloway looked as he arrived at Rogers Place in Edmonton for the pay-per-view. Contrast the arrival of Conor McGregor...
... with the arrival of Holloway into the arena:
— Dana White (@danawhite) July 28, 2019
When MMA reporter Seán Sheehan expressed concern for 'Blessed' before the fight, McGregor responded that there would be a lot going through Holloway's mind as he arrived.
In the space of four days, this week, boxers Hugo Alfredo Santillan and Maxim Dadashev died after sustaining injuries in different fights. Added to that, Holloway has been battling a mysterious illness, of late, that doctors have not yet been able to properly diagnose.
When 2 people have died in a week, and you’ve already had an issue, ignored by all, it puts that walk a bit different when you make it.
I pray for both athletes tonight in there.
Big respect for both. https://t.co/asNNasyhrR
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) July 28, 2019
Holloway was forced to pull out of a lightweight title shot against Khabib Nurmagomedov in March 2018 after the illness that has dogged him these past couple of years struck him down.
In July 2018, Holloway spoke about his health with USA Today and denied that a knock-out in training had sparked the 'concussion-like symptoms' that saw him pulled from UFC 226. He said:
"That didn’t happen. We had hard training days, but I didn’t suffer a concussion at all. I wish the answer was that simple. That’s why it’s so confusing. It would be easy to move forward if we knew what happened. Not just for me, for my mom, my family and my whole team. We’re struggling with it right now."
As reticent as 'Blessed' was when he arrived at Rogers Place, he looked in better condition by the time he stepped into The Octagon:
Edgar gave as good as he got against Holloway but only landed one significant takedown, in the third round, and could not utilise his wrestling talents on the mat.
This was the first time in three years that Holloway was taken the distance, in the featherweight division, but there was no doubt that he had successfully defended his belt.
— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) July 28, 2019
McGregor was not the only person to pay tribute to both fighters after their main event while Holloway was asked about a possible bout against Australian 145lb title hopeful Alexander Volkanovski at October's UFC 243.
"We’ll see what happens," he told reporters.
"I look fine, I look great, but I’ll wait to talk to my team and my coaches. I fought three title fights in seven months. I want to fight one more time this year, but we’ve got to take all the right tests and see and we’ll go from there.
"I’ve got this little mini-me [Rush, his son] right here," he added. "We had some tragedies in combat sports this past week and we want to stay on top of it and go to the doctors. I’m trying to stay around for a long time, not a good time."
Asked to give an insight to his thinking as he prepared for his fight, after such a stark week of combat sport fatalities, Holloway said:
"This sport is crazy. Me and my coach always joke around about it but the last before a fight, he says, 'Eat whatever you want because this could be your last meal'.
"That's the way we approach because we're just warriors. We don't wish that but that is what you say, because you never know that.
"This world is crazy and this sport is crazy. Nothing but love and prayers to those two families and for what they are enduring right now."