On Saturday at UFC 231, Max Holloway will return to the cage after a year-long layoff to defend his featherweight title against Brian Ortega, assuming he can make weight. But the one man who should arguably be the most concerned with Holloway’s weight cut, says he isn’t worried.
“It’s weird. I’m not nervous, but I should be,” UFC President Dana White told MMAJunkie recently. “You know, I didn’t want him to fight again at ’45. He wanted this fight so bad. He got cleared by every test and doctor and everything we’ve done. Came in light this week, so we’ll see what happens. Yeah, it would be really bad if he didn’t make weight.”
After winning the featherweight title last year, Holloway looked poised to have a breakout 2018. Instead, this year has been one of the most tumultuous of his career. He was expected to defend his title against Frankie Edgar at UFC 222, but was forced to withdraw from the bout due to a leg injury. Then, two months later, he offered to step in on a week’s notice against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 for the vacant UFC lightweight title. But on weigh-in day, the New York State Athletic Commission pulled him from the card due to the severity of his short-notice weight cut. It was a missed opportunity for Holloway.
Holloway rebounded quickly, intending to defend his title against Ortega in July but was once again set back, withdrawing from the bout on fight week due to concussion-like symptoms. Eventually, he was cleared to fight once again and now he and Ortega will finally square off, barring anymore last minute impediments. Those could still be in the offing though, as the issues that manifested in July were never properly explained by doctors. But for Dana White’s money, these issues are all come back to the same thing, Max Holloway is too big to keep competing at 145 pounds.
“I think he needs to go to ’55,” White said. “He’s too big for this weight. You can’t keep doing this to yourself and cutting down to ’45. But you know what he wanted? He wants this Ortega fight. He wants to fight Ortega so bad. This is the fight he wanted. He got it. He medically got cleared, and he got what he wanted.”
For his part, Holloway has dismissed any concern over his weight cutting, saying he showed up for this week lighter than usual and reminding everyone that he has never officially missed weight before.
“At the end of the day, I’ll show up,” Holloway said. We’ll see what happens when I show up and we meet in the Octagon. I can’t wait to see it.
“I never missed weight. Everybody keeps talking about this weight thing, and blah blah blah. Have I ever stepped on the scale and missed weight?”
But that doesn’t mean Holloway is averse to the idea of moving up to lightweight. “Blessed” already offered to head up once before and he is still more than happy to take a trip up to 155 pounds, or even higher. Whatever is the best option for his career.
“We talked a little bit about it,” Holloway said. “Not too much, not too crazy, you know? At the end of the day, I’m a champion. I’m a champion. I wanted to be a defending champion, now I want to be a pound-for-pound champion.
“If it’s going up a weight class, then it’s going up; if it’s staying here and defending my belt a couple of times, it’s staying here; if it’s fighting my good friend [Daniel Cormier], ‘The Kung Fu Panda’, ‘The Daddest Man on the Planet’, so be it. I want to be the best ever.”
145. Max Holloway scoffs at weight-cut skepticism: ‘At the end of the day, I’ll show up’.
The MMA Beat
UFC 231 Timeline.
Complete history of the strawweight division.
Mayweather admitting he’s never fighting in MMA or kickboxing.
Tenshin talking that ish to Conor.
Max on GQ.
Fights Gone By. Jack Slack discussing UFC 231 and Holloway vs. Ortega.
Bushido Talk. Discussing the past, present, and future of the UFC.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
What a journey it has been! I want to thank everyone who has supported me since day one when I set out my goal to fight in the UFC. Unfortunately I have been released by the UFC. I look forward to 2019 and the new opportunities that may arise. Thank you all. pic.twitter.com/g64uqftgfE— Ben 10 Nguyen (@Ben10MMA) December 7, 2018
“Get a ranked win then come holla at you” well I’m here now!!! Where you at?? Dana said he called you and your phone was disconnected. I wonder what got you shook?? @ColbyCovMMA @danawhite @AliAbdelaziz00 @seanshelby pic.twitter.com/vAtoQT14Uv— KAMARU USMAN (@USMAN84kg) December 6, 2018
Working things out.
Much respect Marvin, I’ve never talked shit about you, but face reality. Top of the food chain, top ranked fighter you are not. Good luck in getting there, but reality is, you just aren’t. Yet? Ever? Who knows. But good luck getting to the top. https://t.co/pimVQlSkqZ— michael (@bisping) December 6, 2018
What u said it’s easy to misunderstand but anyway ye I know im not there yet but I will be soon and the next time I’ll face him I won’t let anyone take the W from me. Honestly tho I always liked u and I respect a lot what u did in MMA.— Marvin Vettori (@MarvinVettori) December 7, 2018
If you are cool im too
Lets train sometimes
W8 a moment— Marvin Vettori (@MarvinVettori) December 7, 2018
make up your mind buddy
R u talking shit or not? don’t go on the Usada shit and if you do just read the whole story at least
believe it or not its a whole unfortunate story
I never did and Ill never take anything in my whole life and I will say this until the last day
For you stat nerds out there.
Dustin Poirier had an interesting day.
Just left Angola, was invited to watch the Prison boxing Championships. These guys fought from bell to bell every round. The intensity they fought with motivated me to be a better fighter. pic.twitter.com/35mhqxiNBM— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) December 7, 2018
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
1996: Don Frye submitted Tank Abbott to win the tournament at UFC Ultimate Ultimate 2. Also, this is one of the few events in UFC history featuring a worked fight. In the semifinals, Frye faced Anthony Macias, a man he had beaten several times before and who was managed by the same man. Macias tapped to an achilles lock 20 seconds into the fight, sparing Frye from a hard battle ahead of the finals.
Cross your fingers Max makes weight today. Also, Joanna-Valentina is the best fight in WMMA history. Enjoy.
Thanks for reading and see y’all on Monday.
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