Max Holloway shocked Brazil on Saturday night at UFC 212, hitting Jose Aldo with a massive overhand right that knocked him to the canvas and finishing him off with ground and pound (watch it here). It was the culmination of an 11 fight winning streak that started in 2014 after a loss to Conor McGregor
. With this win over Aldo, he unified the belts and now stands at the top of the 145 pound mountain.
But as Jose Aldo knew all too well, Conor McGregor still reigns over the division in the minds of many. The Irish superstar took the featherweight title off Jose Aldo in 2015 but never defended it, instead moving up to lightweight to chase a second title. He accomplished that feat against Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205, but didn't stay a two division champ for long. The UFC took his featherweight belt and handed it back to Aldo, a move that didn't sit right with many fans.
Now Holloway has the belt, which could make things interesting enough for McGregor to return to featherweight (should he return to MMA at all following a boxing bout with Floyd Mayweather that will net him a hundred million plus dollars).
“If he wants to come back down, he can come and get it,” Holloway told the press following the fight (via MMA Fighting). “But if not, it is what it is, you know? ... I ain’t going to chase someone around. I ain’t going to talk about someone that ain’t talking about me. He gets to choose his fights. Why am I going to cry and beg him to fight me? Get the hell out of here with that sh*t. He can beg to fight me now."
“I’m coming to that point now where people’s going to start asking me to fight," he continued. "I ain’t asking no one to fight. I’ve got my throne. If you want it, come see me ... That guy was the 2015 champ. He can go running around wherever he’s at with the belt and celebrate, but guess what? You can’t take that away from him here. This is called the year 2017 right now, he’s the 2015 champ, and I’m the champ.”
So with McGregor likely coming nowhere near the featherweight division, what's Holloway plan to do? Defend the belt. Max pointed to flyweight champ Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson with his 10 defenses as an inspiration, and he plans to defend the 145 pound strap against all comers. With so many fighters calling for superfights and boxing matches and changing weight classes, that must sound pretty good to the UFC.
For all the results and highlights from UFC 212, click here!