For a man accustomed to doing nothing but winning, Max Holloway is taking his first loss in years well.
Less than 24 hours after competing in five fast-paced and bloody rounds with Dustin Poirier in the main event of UFC 236 in Atlanta on Saturday and falling just short of adding an interim UFC title to his collection, “Blessed” took to Instagram to share his thoughts on the loss and offer his congratulations to Poirier and his wife Jolie.
“Life is chutes and ladders,” Holloway wrote. “Sometims we gotta take that slide down to get to the next big ladder. It is what it is. We keep playing. We keep fighting. Congrats to Dustin and Jolie. They should’ve already had a belt. Diamonds are forever.”
Poirier responded in kind on Twitter:
Thank you Max. You are a Champion. It was an honor to share that battle— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) April 14, 2019
Holloway and Poirier first fought back on Feb. 4, 2012, at UFC 143. It was Poirier who won that night as well, finishing Holloway by first-round submission. Both men went on to have extraordinary success in the following years, with Holloway putting together a 13-fight win streak and becoming the UFC featherweight champion, and Poirier establishing himself as an elite contender at both 145 and 155 pounds before earning his own belt in his 22nd walk to the Octagon by defeating Holloway a second time.
Post-fight, UFC president Dana White suggested that Holloway return to featherweight to continue his reign there and that Poirier’s next meeting will be a unification bout with undisputed champion Khabib Nurmagomedov.