SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 12/9: Max Holloway has eyes on 155, Ortega was ‘willing to die’ at UFC 231, and more

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Dec 8, 2018; Toronto, ON, Canada; Max Holloway (red gloves) celebrates after beating Brian Ortega (blue gloves) during UFC 231 at Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Holloway and Dana White looking at move to lightweight

With a vicious and dominant win over Brian Ortega at UFC 231, Max Holloway cemented himself as the current and all-time best featherweight in MMA. With that argument settled, Holloway may have more options at 155 than 145, and he has Dana White’s support if he were to make the move.

“I’d like to see Max go to ‘55 now,” White said at the UFC 231 post-fight press conference (transcribed by MMAFighting). “I think that the guy’s 27 going on 28 years old, he’s in the prime of his life, never looked better. Continues to improve with every single fight that he’s in and I think he’s done everything he can do at ‘45.”

As for who Holloway could fight at 155 pounds, the options are plentiful. There’s of course the last man to defeat him, Conor McGregor, but there’s also the current champ, Khabib Nurmagomedov. It’s the Nurmadomedov fight that intrigued Holloway the most.

“Khabib is another undefeated fighter,” Holloway said Saturday night. “I got this niche, I guess. I just gave an undefeated fighter his first loss. So maybe that one might excite me the most. We were supposed to have that one. So we’ll see what happens. I don’t know. I ain’t picky. Feed me. They all can get it.

Immediately after his win, in his in-cage interview with Joe Rogan, Holloway said that people should be coming to him. Perhaps after some thought, Holloway sees that he’ll need to chase his biggest fights by moving up a weight class.

Ortega says he was ‘willing to die in there’ at UFC 231

If you saw Saturday’s fight between Max Holloway and Brian Ortega, you saw a bloody and brutalized Ortega being not allowed to continue the fight after the fourth round. While he took a hell of a beating, Ortega held his own with Holloway up to that point, and he did so while sustaining some injuries during the fight. In an Instagram post, Ortega said that he agreed with the doctor’s stoppage and that he suffered a broken nose and thumb during the fight.

“Broken nose and a broken thumb I was wiling to die in there,” Ortega wrote. “Last night was Max’s night. I’ll be back.”

Sunday Notebook

Alex Oliveira needed 29 stitches after a nasty elbow from Gunnar Nelson during their fight Saturday night.

-Valentina Shevchenko said that she intends to stay at flyweight until her sister, Antonina, reaches number one contender status and then she wants to fight Amanda Nunes again. “I know exactly I never lost that fight, and she knows that she was not the winner of that fight. And we’ll see, we’ll see. Just waiting for my sister, when she climbs up to No. 1.”

-Post fight bonuses went to Max Holloway and Brian Ortega for Fight of the Night. Holloway also won a Performance of the Night bonus for his TKO win over Ortega. Thiago Santos took the other performance bonus for his wild knockout win over Jimi Manuwa.

In case you missed it

David McGrath’s Middleweight Rankings

Post-fight press conference video

Fight of the Day



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