Max Holloway ‘Can’t Wait’ To Fight Brian Ortega


Originally, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway was scheduled to defend his 145-pound title against Frankie Edgar in the main event of UFC 222 earlier this month, but he was forced to withdraw due to injury.

Then, late replacement Brian Ortega ended up brutally knocking out Edgar, earning him a title fight against Holloway in the process – a fight that “Blessed” is looking forward to:

“My interest in fighting him: I’m very intrigued,” Holloway told MMAjunkie. “I can’t wait to fight. I love fighting and I love competition. You want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. The best is ‘Blessed,’ and right now he’s saying and people are saying he’s the one. I can’t wait. We’ll find out.”

Since entering the UFC in July 2014, Ortega has finished every opponent put in front of him, clearly establishing himself as the No. 1 contender. And while some may shy away from a red hot surging contender, Holloway is drawn to a challenge:

“The Hawaiians had history with Frankie, but then Ortega came out and did his thing,” Holloway said. “When people see danger, they like to walk away. When I see danger, I want to take a peek. When you put us in a room and there’s a red button that says, ‘Don’t press.’ I’m going to go over there and press the damn button and see what happens. That’s just the kind of person I am. He proved to the world why he’s the No. 1 contender. Looks like I’ve got a new cupcake flavor, so I’m excited. I like horchata, so I can get that horchata flavor – it’s delicious.”

With Holloway being 26-years-old and Ortega being 27-years-old, both men are in their primes and due to their respective win streaks, a fight between the two is one of the biggest the UFC could put on, which Holloway is well aware of:

“I think this fight is huge,” Holloway said. “He’s got a lot of fans. It’s exciting. I think it’s a huge fight. I think people are talking more about this one than the Frankie one. It’s cool; this is finally the first fight that I didn’t watch growing up. Everyone is telling me he’s the future, but I’m right here. I’m the present.”

And while he’s convinced that he’s the ‘present’, many are riding high on the Ortega train, although “Blessed” isn’t too concerned with the doubters:

“Last year I was the GOAT featherweight, now this year I’m a nobody and a guy who is going to lose my belt because time passed me,” Holloway said. “But last year was three months ago. These guys think they’re going to beat me and it’s just another reason why I’m going to prove I’m the best to do it. These are the kind of fights I want. I want the fights people think it’s challenging. And it is challenging. Then when I go out there it’s like, ‘Wow.’ Keep doubting. It’s only more hype for me when I go out there and do my thing.”