PHOENIX -- Unlike most of his featherweight cohorts, Max Holloway isn't going to complain about the weight-jumping exploits of Conor McGregor.
While he isn't the biggest fan of McGregor's welterweight rematch against Nate Diaz at UFC 200, Holloway isn't going to take up arms against it either. That's because, after seeing McGregor be allowed to roam free among the upper divisions, Holloway expects to receive the same treatment once he is crowned UFC featherweight champion.
"It is what it is," Holloway told MMA Fighting. "He's the money man right now, so whatever the UFC wants to do, it is what it is. It's his life, let him do whatever he wants to do. Just, when I get into that position, if I ask for a fight at 170, I want a fight at 170. If I want to fight for a 155-pound title -- if I hold the 145-pound title -- give me the fight. So I ain't complaining, because when I get into those positions, I don't want anybody complaining about me. I'll do what I like, it's my own life."
Holloway is serious when he says that, and he doesn't necessarily feel obligated to wait either.
Despite his division-best eight-fight win streak, Holloway is the odd man out of the McGregor/Frankie Edgar/Jose Aldo trinity that is currently booked for July 9 at UFC 200. With the three biggest opponents for Holloway now busy, few match-ups at featherweight would really do much to push Holloway's stock higher than it already is. So if a stop at lightweight is what it takes to get a big fight booked, Holloway is more than willing to make the trip.
"I'm playing the (UFC) video game and I'm only in the 145-pound division. I'm like, this is kind of horsesh*t, you know?" Holloway said. "Put me in the 155-pound division. Do I really have to go? I would go, I don't care. People always say: I want to be the best fighter in the world. That's why I respect Conor. He said he wants to be the best fighter in the world and he's trying to prove it. He's f*cking fighting everybody. He's really saying what he does. And I'll fight anybody. You want me to fight at 155? Give me someone at 155. I don't care.
"I believe in my training camp. I believe in my coaches. I believe in what I do. I believe in the work I put in. I'll go up there and fight. Who knows? Give me the chance and I will at 170. Everybody is praising him that he's doing this, but I know there's a lot of fighters who, if they had the opportunity and the money was right, they would go up no hesitation."
Many of Holloway's fellow featherweights have also expressed frustration that McGregor is, for all intents and purposes, holding the division hostage by demanding back-to-back fights above 145 pounds, however Holloway disagrees. He sees the break from precedent as something that will become a positive for both the UFC and the fans moving forward.
"I think it's helping," Holloway said. "The UFC is all about the fans. The fans ask for fights all the time and they get mad at the UFC for not giving it to them. Now they should be happy. The UFC is giving these superfights. The Frankie and (Urijah) Faber fight. The Nate Diaz fight. The UFC gave it to the fans. They asked them, ‘who do you want to see Conor fight,' and everybody voted Nate Diaz. So it's like, they should be happy that they were listening to the fans more."
So while other featherweights may grumble about what McGregor is attempting to do outside of 145 pounds, Holloway is taking the long view, trusting that what goes around will eventually come around once McGregor is dethroned.
"That's why I'm not going to complain about it," Holloway said. "Because when I get to there and I say I want to do this, if they're like, ‘eh, we don't know,' it'll be like, well how do you guys not know? Let's go to the fans. Okay, you guys don't know? Let's go ask the fans what they want to see, and put them in that position. It is what it is.
"At the end of the day, the UFC has all the control. They can do whatever they like. They can make me fight f*cking Jon Jones one day. It's whatever they want. At the end of the day, they sign my checks. And I want pretty checks. I want to prove to the world that I'm the best fighter in the world. I'm not trying to be the best fighter in Hawaii or the best fighter in the U.S. I'm trying to be the best fighter in the world, and when this run is over, I want to make sure people talk about me like, ‘damn, this guy was one of the best ever.'"