Max Holloway made an emphatic statement on his current Featherweight run last Saturday night (Dec. 8, 2018) after dominating Brian Ortega en route to a fourth-round technical knockout win (doctor stoppage) at UFC 231.
With it being “Blessed’s” thirteenth straight win at 145 pounds, talks of a jump up to Lightweight quickly started to surface, with former interim 155-pound champion Tony Ferguson throwing his name in the hat to welcome him.
One man who isn’t feeling Holloway’s trip north is Kevin Lee, who says he considers Max a friend, but he isn’t about to just step aside and give up his spot in the title race after putting plenty of work in at 155 pounds.
“I feel like in time maybe people will stop doing that. We are talking about something bigger than that. I feel like people are too short-sighted. You win one fight and all of a sudden you are the GOAT,” he proclaimed on The MMA Hour.
“And this is no disrespect to Max at all. Max is one of the very few fighters in the game that I got a lot of respect for and actually consider a good friend. He looked amazing, really. We are all kind of the same generation. I feel like me and him both are in the new generation of fighter. He set the bar last week and it has given me a bit more motivation, a bit more fuel to go out there and put a show on,” he added.
“But, I feel like that’s not the way you get it done. That’s not the way you become a superstar by automatically let’s just bump up. You see the same thing with Khabib. I told this to Ali, you win one fight and all of a sudden you want to fight Floyd Mayweather for $100 million. Come on, this is not how this game works. It’s a marathon. Keep putting in the work, keep taking out No. 1 contenders and then maybe you will get there eventually. You talk about guys like Georges St-Pierre who had to defend the title nine or ten times before they started saying that. I feel that is the way the sport should really be. Let’s get back to the real sport, let’s get back to, we’ve already seen it.”
“Why do you want Khabib to fight Floyd? It’s not even a great fight. Why do you want Max to come up and fight somebody like Khabib or like me? It’s unfair for him to even have to, that’s a lot of weight. People do not understand, we are competitors. We are just too big and too strong. It’s too big of a disadvantage. I feel like it needs to be a clear playing field, and then that’s when you really see the best fight.”
Some say Max is getting too big for 145 pounds, so a move up to Lightweight seems inevitable at this point.
Nevertheless, it seems Holloway’s work at 145 pounds isn’t done yet, as Frankie Edgar is looking to become the man to hand the Hawaiian his first loss in over four years. As for Lee, he will look to jump up a few spots in the title hunt when he faces Al Iaquinta this Saturday (Dec. 15, 2018) at UFC on FOX 31.
To see the entire UFC on FOX 31: “Lee vs Iaquinta 2” fight card click here.