Max Holloway stepped up in the biggest way possible to save the upcoming UFC 223 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Saturday April 7, 2018 by agreeing to face Khabib Nuramgomedov for the undisputed lightweight title on just six days notice after an injury to Tony Ferguson forced “El Cucuy” off the card.
Read all about it here.
While “Blessed” didn’t hesitate to face an “animal” like Khabib, his team initially threw out the idea of having the bout take place at Welterweight due to the rigorous weight cut that is in store for Max.
“Max didn’t hesitate at all. He immediately said, ‘Let’s fucking do it bro, this is how legends are made.’ That’s exactly what he said to me,” said Holloway’s manager, Brian Butler-Au, on The MMA Hour.
“So I told him we had to let George (Lockhart) crunch the numbers because I don’t want the weight cut, I am sure he can make the weight but I wanted to make it healthy and I don’t want it to have any long-term effects on him,” he added. “So George crunched the numbers, it took him an hour and a half to check everything out, and came and said he could 100-percent do it. It will be a grind for him but if anyone can do it Max can and in a healthy manner. We said we would do it Welterweight, and UFC wanted it to be a title fight. So that’s when we reevaluated and Max said let’s do it.”
As far as how much Max weighs at the moment, Brian refused to divulge that information but did say “Blessed” has “some weight to lose.” As far as his nagging ankle injury which forced him out of his 145-pound title fight against Frankie Edgar at UFC 222 last month, Brian says it won’t be an issue at all.
“He’s okay. He recovered a lot faster than doctors expected him to. So the treatments really took to him as well as anybody. So he has been training, he has been testing it, he has been pushing it and so far he’s pushed it hard and it seems okay,” he revealed.
As far as his plans moving forward should he make history and become UFC’s second fighter ever to hold two separate division title simultaneously, Max wants to one-up Conor McGregor by actually defending both straps.
“Knowing Max, I don’t think so (leave featherweight). I think he wants to do what the other champion didn’t and make a statement, make a point that way,” said Brian. “I do know that his time at 145 is probably going to be on the clock soon, but he has full intentions to defend two or three more times before making any moves. My guess from knowing Max, he’s going to want to do something that’s never been done.”
Should Max do the unimaginable, Butler-Au says the roles will now be reversed and Conor will have to come to “Blessed” if he wants to reclaim one of his former two world titles.