While Max Holloway has been on a tear recently through the Featherweight division, he has not ruled out the possibility of moving up in weight in the future if that is what it takes for him to secure a rematch with Conor McGregor.
In an interview with mmafighting.com, the Hawaiian even joked that,
“A McGregor fight can happen anyway. He said 155, 170, I recently said I’ll go ahead and fight heavyweight if he wants to fight heavyweight.”
He went onto to explain that age could understandably be a factor in his decision making too,
“My birthday is in a couple days. I’m 25. My body is growing. You know? The plan is to kill everybody, take out all the contenders, no whining.”
But there is substance to this remark as it demonstrates that unlike José Aldo, Holloway is willing to leave behind the 145 pound division if, as many suspect, that is the criteria to fight McGregor from now on.
In fairness to the long-time champion Aldo, it probably would not make sense for him to move up to Lightweight as he is just 5′ 7″ in height. Holloway, meanwhile, is a positively lanky 5’11” by comparison. Just to emphasize the size difference, that’s the same height as current Light Heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
So while it seems a rematch between McGregor and his most famous Featherweight foe may not happen, Holloway may be someone that he does cross paths with in the future. Though the Dubliner is the most lucrative fight in the business with just about everyone calling him out lately, ‘Blessed’ Holloway may find himself in the blessed position of sharing a main event with him if he continues his sparkling form.
Holloway already has a decent argument for a rematch as he has won every one of his nine fights since their first encounter, which did go to a decision anyway. Holloway was a mere 21 years old at the time too so he has undoubtedly improved exponentially since then.
Assuming he justifies his favourite tag on Saturday night in the main event of UFC 206 against Anthony Pettis, thereby securing the interim Featherweight belt, Holloway may choose to make the leap up to lightweight in order to throw his name into the hat of potential McGregor opponents.
This is already a crowded list, however, with Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson seemingly entrenched as the top contenders of the newly crowned Dubliner’s division.
If Holloway really wants to solidify his chances of facing the Crumlin man, he may need to also defeat José Aldo and announce himself as the new, undisputed top-dog in the now McGregor-less Featherweight division.
Given how McGregor himself looked better than ever against Eddie Alvarez at what many consider to be his natural weight-class, Holloway may also feel that he could be an even more dangerous prospect at 155 pounds.
The idea of competing without having to endure such an extreme weight cut as both he and McGregor do for featherweight bouts may mean that if and when we do see the pair clash at Lightweight, we will see both men at their most lethal.
Vincent Whelan, Pundit Arena