Max Holloway wants to do things the old-fashioned way on his quest to regain the UFC featherweight title.
Multiple people with knowledge of the promotion’s plans confirmed to MMA Fighting that a matchup between Holloway and Yair Rodriguez is being targeted to headline the UFC’s event on Nov. 13, which is expected to take place at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas. Per sources, verbal agreements are in place for the bout, which would likely determine the next challenger for the 145-pound title against the winner of Saturday’s UFC 266 main event between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega. ESPN was first to report the news.
The matchup was originally scheduled to take place in July before Holloway was forced to withdraw due to an injury.
After dropping the featherweight title to Volkanovski at UFC 245, Holloway, ranked No. 2 in MMA Fighting’s global rankings, would lose a razor close split decision in the rematch seven months later at UFC 251. “Blessed” bounced back in a big way with a dominant decision win over Calvin Kattar at January’s UFC Fight Island 7 event, landing 445 significant strikes throughout the 25-minute bout.
Rodriguez will compete for the first time in over two years when he makes the walk. In his most recent appearance, “El Pantera” earned a unanimous decision over Jeremy Stephens in the co-main event of UFC Boston in October 2019.