There was a time when UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway was absolutely chasing a fight against Conor McGregor.
After rattling off 13 straight wins including a pair of knockouts against former champion Jose Aldo, Holloway was anxious to avenge the last loss of his career, which came against McGregor back in 2013 when he was just 22 years old at the time.
The two fighters never ended up crossing paths again with McGregor turning his attention towards a nine-figure payday for a boxing match against Floyd Mayweather before returning to the UFC where he faced Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title this past October.
As for Holloway, he made a brief stop at 155 pounds where he came up short against Dustin Poirier in April before returning to featherweight where he defended his title for the third time in a unanimous decision win over Frankie Edgar.
Right now, Holloway is preparing to face Alexander Volkanovski in the co-main event at UFC 245 as McGregor is plotting his return a month later at UFC 246 when he takes on Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone in a welterweight showdown on Jan. 18.
With a title defense in front of him, Holloway doesn’t think about McGregor too often until his name gets brought up, which is why he’s not all that concerned about a rematch. That said, Holloway knows if McGregor truly wants to re-establish himself among the best fighters in the world then it seems almost inevitable that they’ll meet again.
“We’ll see what happens. If he wants to be what he was a couple years ago when he was the greatest mixed martial artist in the world, and he wants to be the greatest again, I’m sure we’re going to run into each other like that,” Holloway said at a media luncheon ahead of UFC 245.
“Because he wants to be great, I want to be great, but if not, it is what it is. But if his mind is right, his mind is straight and he wants to be the best, I’m sure we’re going to run into each other. I’m not sweating it too much.”
Holloway and McGregor have jabbed at each other over social media in the past few years while still managing to show respect at the same time.
With his mind on Volkanovski, Holloway can’t be too concerned about what McGregor will after January but he hopes the Irish superstar is coming back with his full focus on Cerrone because that’s exactly what he’ll need to win.
“We’ll see what Conor comes,” Holloway said candidly. “We’ll see if Mystic Mac is back and the way he’s training but we get to see that fight. Hopefully.
“I wish him a great training camp, and I can’t wait to see him go back in there.”