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04th Jun 2017

Max Holloway gives perfect response to inevitable Conor McGregor question

Dana White will be thrilled with that answer

Ben Kiely

It’s become very fashionably for newly-installed UFC champions to immediately call for money fights.

Tyron Woodley was angling for Nick Diaz and Georges St-Pierre after he knocked out Robbie Lawler to become welterweight champion. Michael Bisping’s first defence was against a retiring Dan Henderson and now he looks set to take on GSP sometime later this year. Even Amanda Nunes was toying with the idea of a featherweight title shot before Cyborg came back into the picture.

Conor McGregor is not only the first fighter to hold two UFC belts simultaneously, but he’s also the first double champion in the promotion’s history to never attempt to defend either belt. Just like what Bisping vs GSP is doing to the middleweight division, McGregor’s back-to-back fights with Nate Diaz and the Eddie Alvarez scrap held up the 145 lbers. Now his quest for that diamond-encrusted panty night against Floyd Mayweather is doing the same to the 155 lb division.

Fortunately, after becoming the undisputed featherweight king by knocking out Jose Aldo inside three rounds at UFC 212, Max Holloway’s intentions are simple. He wants to defend his shiny new title.

Only two men have defeated Aldo since he became the greatest featherweight ever over the last 11 years. The other one, McGregor, is also the last man to defeat Holloway before he started this incredible win-streak that now stands at 11 following the win in Rio. Holloway won’t be looking for a rematch with ‘the Notorious’ though. As he sees it, the guy who currently holds the belt is the one with the target on his back.

“Like I said before, I’m going say it again. That guy was the 2015 champ. He can go run around whatever he at with the belt and celebrate because guess what, you cannot take it away from me. This is called the year 2017 right now, he’s the 2015 champ and I’m the champ. If he wants to come back down, he can come and get it. But if not, it is what it is.”

Both Holloway and McGregor were injured when they threw down at UFC Fight Night 26. A 25-year-old McGregor with a torn ACL, an injury which forced him to sit on the sidelines for 10 months, comprehensively defeated a 21-year-old Holloway with a foot injury to a unanimous decision. Holloway won’t be looking for that win back though, as he loos toward building a legacy.

“He’s a guy who is always looking over the fence, always trying to look for the next great thing or whatever. Demetrious Johnson, he finds this motivation to keep defending. It takes a special human being to do that, and that’s me. I want to defend my throne. I want my fans to know and love me because I want to defend this. I want to show I’m the champ.”

Holloway’s no fool, he sees every fighter 30+ lbs either side of McGregor trying their best to secure a red panty night. There’s a long queue to fight the Irishman, and they may not even be rewarded for getting in line if the Mayweather fight goes ahead.

“Come try to take over my village — off with your head, that’s what I’m going to do. This guy is over here just always trying to look for the bigger thing, and that’s him. Good for him. At the end of the day, I’m not going to chase him around.”

“I’m not going to talk about someone who isn’t talking about me. He gets to choose his fights, why will I cry or beg him to fight me? Get the hell out of here with that shit. He should beg to fight me now, dog.”

Considering how many top-level fighters Holloway has beaten inside the Octagon, he doesn’t feel the need to ask for any fight in particular. He’s the king at the top of the mountain, it’s up to the rest of the fighters in the division to earn their chance to claim his throne.

“I’m coming to the point where people are going to ask me to fight. I ain’t asking anyone to fight. I’ve got my throne. If he wants it, come see me.”