Fight fans around the world just want to see Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega actually happen in the main event of this weekend’s (Sat., December 8, 2018) UFC 231 from Toronto.
But we just can’t be certain that will be the case until Holloway and his top challenger are locked into the cage. That’s obviously because Holloway has been forced out of an incredible three fights this year. The featherweight champ was on top of the fight game last year, but a leg injury before UFC 222 began a trend.
‘Blessed’ was then pulled from a short-notice fight against lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 the next month. He attempted to make it to a third fight of the year when he was scheduled to meet Ortega at UFC 226 in July. When he was pulled for having odd ‘concussion-like’ symptoms, he was out of an unprecedented third fight in seven months. His fighting future was on the shelf as a result.
Yet here we are. Holloway is set to return before the end of the year, and the fight game awaits that return tentatively. Ortega revealed he isn’t all the way sure Holloway will make the fight during today’s open workouts. The champion reacted to the statement via MMA Fighting, noting that Ortega can say what he wants. What truly matters is what happens on Saturday:
“Shit happens,” Holloway said. “I don’t know. Whatever mindset, whatever he says, that’s him, no control over what he can say. At the end of the day, I’ll show up. We’ll see what happens when I show up and we meet in the Octagon. I can’t wait to see it.”
Never Missed Weight
Holloway of course has to show up first. He said he is ‘very close’ but wouldn’t give a number. The MMA world will be waiting on pins and needles to see if he makes weight tomorrow (Fri., December 7, 2018) morning. But ‘Blessed’ wanted to point out he has never missed weight:
“I never missed weight,” Holloway said. “Everybody keeps talking about this weight thing, and blah blah blah. Have I ever stepped on the scale and missed weight? That answers your own question.”
The cut to 145 pounds is getting tougher and tougher, however, and he’s teased a move up to lightweight many times.
Due to that, Holloway said he has discussed moving up with his boss Dana White. Ultimately he wants to defend his featherweight title for now. If and when he moves up, he claims it will be for good:
“We talked a little bit about it,” Holloway said. “Not too much, not too crazy, you know? At the end of the day, I’m a champion. I’m a champion. I wanted to be a defending champion, now I want to be a pound-for-pound champion.
“If it’s going up a weight class, then it’s going up, if it’s staying here and defending my belt a couple of times, it’s staying here; if it’s fighting my good friend [Daniel Cormier], ‘The Kung Fu Panda’, ‘The Daddest Man on the Planet’, so be it. I want to be the best ever.”
Based on that, Holloway said this absolutely is not his last fight at featherweight:
“Not a shot,” he exclaimed.