Max Holloway wasn’t bowled over by Conor McGregor’s attempt at compliments a couple of weeks ago in Glasgow.
Speaking in Scotland, ‘The Notorious’ spoke highly of Holloway’s form since their bout in Boston at UFC Fight Night 26 three years ago, where the Irishman took a unanimous decision win after injuring his knee in the second round.
While many believe that McGregor showed great respect to the Hawaiian with his comments, the UFC featherweight champion wasn’t all that impressed.
“He ended up saying ‘I still beat the kid’, or something,” he told Ariel Helwani on the latest edition of The MMA Hour.
“If you’re going to give someone props give them props. People are like, ‘Max, he did compliment you, why are you saying stuff about him?’ I’m like, ‘No, he didn’t!’
“He was talking facts and in the end he said how he won (when we fought). It is what it is. Then he said the fight between me and him is there but it’s very low on the totem pole and he’s over there talking about Paulie (Malignaggi) in MMA.
“The guy should call up CM Punk, at least CM Punk got some time in the UFC ring or whatever.
“It makes no sense to me. That guy’s over here, like I said, he’s fighting exhibition matches. If that’s what you want do and you don’t want to be about that champ life then so be it.”
He continued to explain why he felt McGregor’s comments about him were uncomplimentary:
“Go read the comments again. He said this, this and this, and that, and then at the end he said, ‘I still beat the kid’ and ‘he’s at the low end of the totem pole’. I’m like, ‘Dude, everyone knows that I’m on this win streak, you don’t have to tell everyone about it.’
“He said facts and then he went back on other stuff. It’s like how a couple of people brought up Joe Duffy to him.
“Whenever he talks about his Joe Duffy loss he says, ‘that was when we were kids’ and ‘I was young I didn’t know what was going on’. When we fought, I’m pretty sure I was a kid. I didn’t know what was going on and I was still growing.
“Everyone keeps saying, ‘He’d murder you now’ and I’m like, ‘That’s cool, that’s your opinion.’ People keep saying, ‘Max, you’re not the money fight’, and I’m like, ‘Perfect, you’re proving me right. This guy is fighting exhibition matches, of course I’m not the money fight.’
Comparing McGregor to flyweight titleholder Demetrious Johnson, Holloway explained how there are different levels to being a UFC champion.
“There are levels to being a champion. I’ve said it before, the casuals don’t really know about DJ,” he said.
“If a guy just came in and started watching UFC, they see Conor walking with his two belts and then they see DJ, you know, the greatest of all time. Does DJ walk around with ten belts?
“No, he walks around with one of his belts – that one belt. He doesn’t walk around with ten of his belts, but champ life is hard for people sometimes. They don’t want to take it on.
“Why defend, defend, defend when you can have a champ fighting exhibition matches and making money while he’s doing it? Fair play to him. He figured it out first but it doesn’t work for everyone.”
Holloway also said the UFC discussed the possibility of him moving up to 155 and potentially facing McGregor during the negotiation period for his newly signed five-fight deal.
“If it happens, it happens. He said 155,” Holloway said.
“When we were talking about the contract, UFC came to me and they were talking about 155. They also talked to me about Conor a little bit.
“They were asking me about it and then they came to me with the Frankie fight and it was weird. We got the Frankie fight, like I said, I wanted this a year ago. Now we got to fight Frankie, he got the fight now.
“When we were talking about the contract they said, ‘What about (155) would you go up there?’ Then they asked about Conor. If they wanted me to go up there and fight him, I’d fight him any day.
“They kept talking about it, but at the end of the day Frankie was the one.”