LOS ANGELES -- Anderson Silva. Jon Jones. Georges St-Pierre. Royce Gracie. Demetrious Johnson.
Those names represent champions, legends, and Hall of Famers in the sport of mixed martial arts.
They’re also the only fighters with double-digit UFC win streaks in nearly a quarter-century of competition.
With a victory over Anthony Pettis in the main event of UFC 206, Max Holloway would join that illustrious list. He carries a nine-fight winning streak into Toronto.
But while Holloway is honored that his name is even mentioned in same breath as some of the greatest fighters the sport has ever known, he’s trying not to put too much weight on the potentially historic nature of his streak.
“You know, I try not to let it, but when you put it things like that, it’s remarkable,” Holloway said Friday. “Those are legends. I’m only 24, I turn 25 this upcoming Sunday. To be talked about at that age right now amongst them is great. But imagine when I become their age and whatever. I always wanted to leave a legacy, I always wanted to become a legend in this sport, and I think I’m taking the right steps but right now I’m not focused on that kind of stuff, I’ll let that thing take care of itself.”
Holloway has not lost a fight since dropping a decision to current UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor in Boston in Aug. 2013. His nine victories in the featherweight division since have included six finishes and three post-fight bonuses.
But it also took him all this time to simply get to the level of a pay-per-view against the likes of a decorated former champion like Anthony Pettis. And a loss to Pettis puts him right back at square one.
So as far as Holloway is concerned, the streak is something to ponder somewhere down the road, not something to stress over today.
“I don’t care about this nine-fight win streak. Every time I go in, me and my time, we’re 0-0 and we’re looking to become 1-0. This nine-fight win streak or whatever, I can, this window of fighting is tiny, this small little window is like maybe 10-12 years if you’re lucky or past that if you’re luckier. We’re fighting for a small window.
“When I’m done fighting, got my grandkids, then I can talk about the streak and whatever,” the Hawaii native continued. “But right now, you gotta forget about the past and everything is in the present. I’m here in the present and I want to make sure I don’t stumble on my own feet.”