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Max Holloway still skeptical about Jose Aldo 'showing up' for fight with him, at UFC 208 or otherwise

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

TORONTO – Heading into his UFC 206 main event fight with Anthony Pettis, Max Holloway had Jose Aldo on the tip of his tongue. He didn't back down from his comments toward Aldo — whom he insisted was ducking him — but he kept insisting that the business at hand was defeating Pettis for the interim featherweight title.

On Saturday night, Holloway was able to finish Pettis via a third-round TKO (punches), and the first words on the microphone were directed at Aldo, who was handed the featherweight belt after Conor McGregor was stripped of it.

And after having a belt wrapped around his waist, Holloway said that UFC president Dana White gauged his interest in fighting at UFC 208 on Feb. 11 in Brooklyn against Aldo. At first it was music to Holloway's ears.

"You know, I said it in there, February you know," Holloway said in the UFC 206 post-fight press conference. "But when everything was slowing down I was in the back. I was thinking, I already had to give up Thanksgiving for this fight. I had to give up my birthday [Dec. 4]. And it's hard to fight the guy. Like I said, hashtag-Where's Jose Waldo? Let me know when you find him, teamwork is the dream work, and if more of us is looking for him, we're going to find him together.

"We'll see what happens. I don't want to give up my son's birthday and Christmas for Feb. 11 and he don't show up. This guy has a knack for not showing up at fights, so we'll see what happens. I've got to talk to Dana White first man. I got a brunch that I want to do, sit down with him and Sean Shelby, sit down and we can talk some business."

The UFC has yet to name a headliner for the Feb. 11 pay-per-view, which takes place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. There aren't many options in terms of title fights, with everybody booked, coming off of bouts, or fighting at UFC 207 on Dec. 30.

The unification bout between Holloway and Aldo is one of the few possibilities.

When asked if Aldo had agreed to the fight, Holloway shrugged his shoulders.

"Who, Aldo? I don't know," he said. "I don't talk to him. That's not my friend. Go find him. Hashtag Where's Jose Waldo? Guess we'll see."

In terms of winning the interim title, Holloway considers it to be the real title, because he sees an absentee landlord in Aldo at the top.

"For all I know, that motherf*cker is always getting hurt and pulling out, this might as well have been the real belt," he said. "Most true fans know the story. Conor [McGregor]'s coach [John Kavanagh] said I was the best 145-pounder in the world. And then Jose's over here he wants to retire, unretire. Then he gets the belt, now he wants to go up a weight class. Most true fans know these story lines, and most true fans thought this should be for the real belt."

Some people have been critical of Holloway for not calling out McGregor, who beat him back in 2013. That was Holloway's last loss before rattling off 10 straight wins in becoming the interim champion.

Holloway said he wasn't going to solicit a fight with McGregor when so many other fighters are doing that already.

"We'll see what happens, man — like I said, I ain't going to be over here begging for fights," he said. "If that guy wants to fight me, he can come find me. I ain't going to beg. We've got so much guys underneath begging to fight him. If he wants to fight me, he can come see me. If you want to fight the best, you come fight Blessed."

One thing Holloway said he wasn't going to do was wait around for Aldo if the Brazilian's timetable didn't make sense to him. Holloway said he wants to stay busy, with the ultimate goal of being recognized as the best the UFC has known.

And he said he would fight somebody else if Aldo procrastinates — though, he still has a bone to pick with the longtime featherweight champion.

"Of course. I'm the best man alive," he said. "Everybody always give me sh*t, 'why you want to fight Aldo, why don't you call out Conor?' It's like, look, Conor's booked. Why do I want to call out a guy who already has a fight? I was just looking out for Aldo. I thought he wanted a fight, and this guy's saying he's the best in the world, come and prove it. I don't believe in guys waiting for title shots."