New weight cutting rules may force UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway up a division, leaving “Blessed” at a potential career crossroads.
As Holloway prepares to defend his belt against Frankie Edgar at UFC 222, the 145-pound champ told The MMA Hour’s Ariel Helwani that he may have to move up to 155 pounds in the near future (MMA Fighting):
“If they change a few things around, I’m probably not going to be able to make 145. If it happens, it happens. If UFC keeps making new rules, I most definitely might have to step up. There ain’t no denying it.”
“Everybody is talking about being champs and this and that. I’m a champion in my mindset. I’ve told you before, I’ve nothing but time on my side. Man, you might see me with two of these gold belts. Who knows? I’m trying to be a legend.”
The new weight cutting rules essentially established that a fighter cannot cut more than 10 percent of their natural body weight, meaning many of the heavy weight-cutters will now have to reevaluate their diets.
Holloway would be one casualty of the new rules; the massive Hawaiian towers over everyone else in the division despite his lanky frame. He’s never missed weight but admitted many are surprised he can even make the division’s 145-pound limit:
“Every time I check my weight they’re in disbelief, but I’m like, ‘I’ve never missed weight in my life.’ I don’t know why they’re giving me a hard time, but medically if they’re the rules, then medically I probably won’t be able to make it because of their rules with the (weight) cuts.
“155 might come sooner rather than later, so we’ll see what happens.”
How would Holloway do at lightweight against the likes of Eddie Alvarez, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Tony Ferguson?
Could the featherweight champ win gold at 155 pounds?