At age 31, Max Holloway still has plenty of tread left on the tires of his MMA career.
Holloway demonstrated that earlier this month when he ended the undefeated octagon run of Arnold Allen in masterful fashion at UFC Kansas City. The win moved his record to 17-0 against featherweights not named Alexander Volkanovski since 2014, proving once again than “Blessed” remains one of the best fighters in the world despite falling short three times the current UFC champ. Afterward, Holloway reaffirmed his commitment to pursuing an eventual fourth fight at 145 pounds against Volkanovski.
But if Holloway could pick the one fight he wants most before his UFC career is over, would a fourth shot at Volkanovski be his top choice?
He answered that question on a recent appearance on The MMA Hour.
“I think so long as Volk’s fighting and I’m fighting, and I’m doing what I’m doing and he’s doing what he’s doing, I’m sure the fourth [fight] is going to line up somewhere,” Holloway explained. “I don’t know if it’s at ‘45, I don’t know if it’s at ‘55, I don’t know where it is — I think that fight is very reachable. I think we’ll fight each other again down the line at some point, 100 percent. So at the end of the day, that’s not really far off.
“But if he’s asking me to give me a fight, I would love to fight Conor [McGregor]. I was the only guy that took Conor to a decision at ‘45.”
Holloway and McGregor memorably met in 2013 before either man had achieved true MMA stardom. Holloway was just 21 years old and the fight was only McGregor’s second UFC appearance; though the Irishman won a unanimous decision, McGregor did so after tearing his ACL early in the bout.
Since then, Holloway and McGregor have gone on to become two of the UFC’s most biggest names. Holloway racked up 13 straight victories and three defenses of the UFC featherweight title following his setback against McGregor, while McGregor established himself as the biggest star in MMA history en route to becoming a two-division UFC champion.
McGregor is set to make his UFC return later this year against Michael Chandler, with whom he coached alongside on the upcoming season of The Ultimate Fighter 31. That fight is expected to take place at 170 pounds, and UFC president Dana White has intimated that McGregor could be in title contention at either lightweight or welterweight with a win.
But even with the gulf between their current fighting weights, Holloway would be more than happy to make an exception to secure a potential rematch against “The Notorious.”
“I know he wants to come back, but that’d be a fight that [would be] super interesting, super fun,” Holloway said. “A lot of a lot of questions. There’s a lot of unknowns, because we’re just two different fighters from who we were back then. And I think it’d be a fan favorite. I think a lot of fans would love that fight, a lot of fans have been asking for that fight, so we’ll see what happens. At the end of the day, it’s not even a weight thing, bro. I’ll fight him openweight, whatever — whatever the commission would tell us, just show up to the weight, bro. Like, you don’t have to worry. I’d just love to go out there and test him.
“We’ve got to be close to each other, I guess, because all this commission stuff, but we can take it to the UFC 1 rules and we’ll just show up and just fight. Why not?”