With Jose Aldo and Frankie Edgar set to face off for the interim featherweight title at UFC 200, Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway will be watching eagerly as he is surely considered next in line after those two.
Holloway is riding an eight-fight win streak, making him one of the hottest tickets in the division. With no fight booked at the moment, Holloway, a very active fighter, will be looking to get back in action in the coming months.
One fighter he doesn’t expect to be fighting any time soon, however, is current champion Conor McGregor. Speaking to MMAFighting.com recently Holloway said:
“At the end of the day, who knows if he comes back to 145? Honestly, my feeling, I don’t think that he does.”
If Holloway is to be believed perhaps it would be worth his while waiting on the outcome of the Aldo-Edgar rematch.
“So he was going to go up sooner or later. Then you see him getting bigger every fight… His last fight, he was a big boy. And he already had a hard time cutting.
“[With him] going back up to 170, I think he’s going to gain weight and have to cut a little, just trying to compete at that level, at 170. So who knows if he’s coming down?”
Holloway’s last fight was in December of last year when he defeated heavy hitter Jeremy Stephens in an underwhelming affair. Ranked number four in the division, Holloway doesn’t have too many viable options above him; only Chad Mendes is not booked to fight, or isn’t off fighting welterweights. If he were to take on someone ranked below him in the rankings only two options make sense based on fights booked and fighters he’s already beaten, Ricardo Lamas and Dennis Bermudez.
If he does choose to take a fight in the mean time either Mendes or Bermudez makes the most sense. Mendes, who was ranked number one behind Aldo for what seemed like forever is coming off the back of two losses in a row for the first time in his career.
Mendes, who has only ever lost to current, former or future champions would be a great scalp for the Hawaiian. Bermudez on the other hand is one of only three fighters who holds a win over Holloway dating back to May of 2013. Holloway is a very different fighter now though, and it would be a great opportunity to get back one of his losses.
If McGregor does not return to 145lbs, Holloway will like his chances of wearing the featherweight strap in the coming years. At just 24 years old and with a record of 15-3 he is a very exciting prospect indeed.
Paul O’Dea, Pundit Arena