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Max Holloway’s reaction when he got list of names for UFC 218? ‘Call me back when you have a contract’

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Who should have gotten the spot against Max Holloway at UFC 218 after Frankie Edgar went down with an injury?

Should Holloway have granted a rematch to two-time former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, whom Holloway finished to win the title at UFC 212? Or should the spot opposite Holloway in Detroit have gone instead to Cub Swanson, a veteran on a hot streak who has never gotten a crack at UFC gold?

The UFC opted for the former, making Holloway-Aldo 2 the new UFC 218 main event. But if Holloway might have preferred a Swanson rematch, he isn’t about to let on.

After being asked several times about Swanson during a Tuesday conference call, Holloway finally said that he basically left things in the hands of his manager, then went back about the business of preparing to fight.

“To be honest, they gave me a couple names, you know?” Holloway said. “They didn’t tell me, ‘Oh, you’re fighting this guy, this guy, and this guy.’ They said, ‘Here’s ideas.’ And my manager called me, ‘Frankie is hurt, and these are the UFC’s ideas.’ And I told my manager, ‘Call me back when you have a contract. I don’t care who the hell I’m fighting. Just make sure you get me a fight,’ and I hung up. And the next time he called me was, ‘It’s Jose Aldo. The contract is in the e-mail.’

“I signed the contract, I sent it back over. That’s what it was.”

While Holloway wouldn’t cop to which specific names were offered as potential opponents, he said there were a variety of options.

“The ‘45ers, most of the top ‘45ers, some ‘55ers, and that’s about it,” Holloway said. “The names that everyone has been throwing around is what I heard.”

It’s safe to assume Swanson was in that mix. Like with Aldo, a Swanson fight would have also been a rematch — Holloway scored what was at the time his biggest career victory when he submitted Swanson back in April 2015. Holloway said he had no preference on which opponent might have made for a better rematch.

“At the end of the day, me and Cub fought a long time ago, and the first matchup of the fight with me and Aldo just happened,” Holloway said. “So at the end of the day, who knows what happens? Like I said, this is fighting, anything can happen. I don’t really judge my fights on what happened before. Now it’s time for a rematch.”

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