Max Holloway cannot afford to look past Calvin Kattar.
Holloway meets Kattar in a featherweight bout that will headline UFC Fight Island 7 on January 16 in what will be his first non-title fight since 2015.
That said, the former featherweight king will still be fighting a five-rounder so nothing will be changing for him other than the fact that there is no UFC gold on the line.
“At the end of the day, we’re fighting five rounds,” Holloway told Yahoo (via MMA Junkie). “There’s no less work. I’ve got to do the same amount of work, the same amount I’ve been doing for a title fight – the same rules, the same everything.”
Holloway will also be fighting one of the most dangerous fighters in the division in Kattar who is a winner of four of his last five fights in addition to boasting arguably the best boxing in the entire sport.
And while Kattar previously warned “Blessed” not to overlook him, Holloway claims he simply can’t overlook him.
“Calvin is a dangerous dude, and we know he is dangerous because he will be standing across from me, and I’m excited for it,” Holloway said. “He’s from Boston. People like to talk about his boxing and people like to talk about my boxing, so the fun thing is … Calvin was saying something like I’m overlooking him, this and that.
“I can’t. How can I overlook you? He made it here. I’ve got to respect that. At the end of the day, I just can’t wait to fight him. I can’t wait to go in there and see what he has to offer.”
For now, Holloway is taking things one step at a time as he looks to regain his featherweight title — despite many feeling he did enough to defeat Alexander Volkanovski in their rematch.
“There’s no talk. There’s no regrets. We did what we did,” Holloway added. “The past is called ‘the past’ for a reason. You move on. You get on with the day, and I’m going to do hard work. This ain’t my first rodeo. I’ve told a lot of people, ‘If I’ve got to go out and get another 10-win streak, that’s what I’ve got to do.”
Who do think comes out with the win?