Max Holloway became the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight champion earlier this year by knocking out Jose Aldo at UFC 212 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
But Conor McGregor — who was stripped of the title after winning the Lightweight strap — still claims to be a two-division king. And during his walkout for his boxing match against Floyd Mayweather last weekend (Sat., Aug. 26, 2017), “Notorious” proudly showed off both of his belts on his way to the ring.
Holloway wasn’t bothered, but wants to remind everyone that Conor is the “2015 featherweight champ.”
“I can’t do nothing about it. He was the champ once upon a time. He was the 2015 champ. They forgot to announce the year part,” Holloway said during a recent appearance on The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “It’s a little mixup I think they’ll figure out soon enough that they was the champ, you can’t take that away from ‘em. If Demetrious Johnson, he lost his fight, and he lost his belt, and he wanted to walk out with 10 of his belts that he has, you’re going to tell him he can’t?”
According to Max, Conor earned his straps and won’t take the accomplishment away from him, but also points to the fact that he never actually defended his title.
“That’s his belts, he earned the damn thing, (McGregor) earned his belt and that’s his belt, but they forgot the clear cut ‘2015’. That belt is just a basic ‘do not defend’ belt, that’s what you’d call it, that’s what he did so I’m not going to take away from him,” he added.
McGregor defeated Holloway back in 2013 via unanimous decision. Since the loss, Max has won 11 in a row while capturing the interim belt and unifying the straps with a victory over Aldo.
And while Holloway would love nothing more than rematch against Conor -- whom he’d allow to be called “featherweight champion” for the fight — he isn’t holding his breath, as he insists McGregor is afraid to lose any title and won’t risk riding off into the sunset with a fairy tile ending by facing him one more time.
“It already showed that he can lose to Nate and he can still hold this championship level mindset to his peers and to his fans versus if he comes to fight me and he loses, then his fairy tale is done,” Holloway said. “His ‘champ champ’, this whole ‘mystic’ thing is done, that’s over with, and that’s the kind of person that I think he is. I don’t think he wants to risk that, especially against a guy like me,” he concluded.