Ahead of UFC 236 this weekend, featherweight champion Max Holloway claims he wasn’t spending too much time thinking about avenging his defeat to Dustin Poirier.
Holloway and Poirier are set to collide on Saturday for the second time when they meet in Atlanta, Georgia, for the interim lightweight title.
Their first meeting, of course, was back in 2012 where a 20-year-old Holloway lost to Poirier in his UFC debut. Since then, “Blessed” would lose twice more, but is currently on an impressive 13-fight winning streak and is regarded as one of the pound-for-pound best fighters in the world.
He will now get a chance to not only win a second title, but also avenge one of his three defeats. While he wasn’t obsessed with the possibility of getting that fight back, he’s happy he has the opportunity nonetheless.
“If it happened, it happened,” Holloway said after the open workouts on Wednesday (via MMAJunkie). “If we cross paths, we cross paths. I didn’t spend too much time thinking about it. People dwell on the past and say, ‘You got to get this one back.’ I don’t care. I don’t care if I got it back. But our paths cross. OK, cool. We get to do this again, we get to run it back.
“It’s a long time ago. Max that you guys are looking at today would’ve bodied 20-year-old Max. I would’ve put him in a cemetery right down the road from my street and visited him every day on the weekends. Now we here with Dustin.”
Comfortable at lightweight
Holloway will be competing at lightweight for the first time under the UFC banner. Whether he goes on to face Khabib Nurmagomedov with a win or defends his featherweight title after Saturday, the Hawaiian currently feels great.
“I feel great,” Holloway added. “The energy is great, training was great, we going to find out. We get to find out Saturday. Performance going to be great.”
Holloway also feels the UFC wants the current featherweight contenders to “bake a little longer,” but is open to fighting in any division for his next bout.
“I think most of them only got one [win] in the top 10, the top five or whatever it is. That’s it. If it’s ’45 after this, it’s ’45. If it’s ’55, it’s ’55. If it’s 170, 185, 205, my man Daniel (Cormier), ‘DC,’ I know you got that No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter. If you want it, you can come get it.”