The presser started with the introduction of the main event talents in champion Max Holloway and challenger Brian Ortega. Both fighters noticeably were quite bundled up in heavy winter jackets seeing that the two competitors are from warm climates.
“That Toronto cold is no joke,” as Holloway has been quoted as saying in the past. Max then greets Dana White with the traditional Hawaiian lei.
The press conference started with MMA journalist and former pro fighter Robin Black asking if anything will feel different after the year layoff for Holloway. It’s important to note that even though Max is only 27 years of age he is a true veteran of the sport and has fought 18 times in the UFC over the span of six years. Holloway’s last loss came to Conor McGregor back on Aug. 17, 2013. To say he has been on a tear is an understatement. Black then followed up with a question for Ortega and asks if he feels he can stand and strike with Holloway.
“Well I hope so, that’s why I’m here,” Ortega replied. Holloway is then asked about the connection that he has made with the city of Toronto.
“It is what it is,” Holloway answered in typical fashion. He then goes on to claim Toronto as the 10th Island. For those who may not be aware, Hawaiians refer to Las Vegas as the 9th Island due to the number of Hawaiian locals who live there.
Moving forward to the co-main event for the vacant women’s flyweight championship we have a bout between Valentina Shevchenko and former strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk. These two have a storied past in the sport of Muy Thai from 10 years ago. Both were asked about the past and how it will affect Saturday’s bout. Both were very clear about the time that has passed and the fact that they will now be competing in an entirely different sport. It does sound as though Joanna’s goal is to go back down to 115lbs and become a potential double champ herself.
Be sure to check back with MMATorch Saturday for full fight and post-fight coverage.