The conversation out of UFC 196 regarding Conor McGregor’s return to featherweight has centered on whether or not that title defense will come against the man he took it from, Jose Aldo, or the man widely considered the No. 1 contender, Frankie Edgar.
However, there’s a third man who believes he belongs in the conversation: Max Holloway.
The 24-year-old Hawaiian is getting a bit annoyed by the fact he’s not been considered, and he tried to make his case for being the deserving contender in an interview with FoxSports.com.
“That’s what I’m asking myself right now. I see all these reports out right now that Conor is coming to 145 [lbs] and only two guys to face? Everybody’s forgetting,” Holloway said. “I guess I’m the forgotten Hawaiian. I don’t know what people are thinking.
“I’m over here working hard. I don’t care who I fight – I don’t care to fight Conor, I don’t don’t care to fight [Jose] Aldo, I don’t care to fight Frankie [Edgar], but if we’re talking title shots, I want my name to be in the mix and I want my title shot.”
Holloway fought McGregor to a decision back in 2013, losing on the scorecards after both suffered injuries during the fight. Since then, he’s won eight straight fights, including over top ten names in Cub Swanson and Jeremy Stephens. While there are those who would argue he hasn’t beaten the type of contender necessary to get a title fight, Holloway thinks he’s done everything he possibly could given what the UFC’s put in front of him.
“I want a big named fight. If you say I fought nobody, give me somebody. I keep asking the UFC to give it to me,” Holloway said. “At the end of the day, I’m a fighter. I’m just really shocked that no one seems to mention my name. I’ll fight anybody. They keep talking about leading contenders and big money fights, and my name with any of those guys is a big money fight.
“I just want to fight for the title. I worked hard to get here. There’s a new contender. Everybody else fought for a title already. Give some new blood a shot. There’s a lot of questions with a McGregor vs. Holloway 2. There are questions that need to be answered. Let’s do it. If I don’t get that shot, there are a few guys in front of me, I’ll take all of them.”
Penick’s Analysis: Holloway’s got a case, and it’s going to get stronger the more he continues to win fights, but the unfortunate truth for his situation is that both Aldo and Edgar have stronger cases for that fight with McGregor right at this moment. Holloway should get his shot here eventually, and it could even happen within 2016. Still, he’s right that he can only beat those opponents put in front of him, so hopefully the UFC gives him the type of fight next that can make his case for a shot as clear as possible.
[Photo (c) Gary A. Vasquez via USA Today Sports]
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