UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway hasn’t fought since last December but he’s quick to remind his upcoming opponent of everything he’s done to get here.
While 2018 has certainly been the polar opposite for Holloway compared to what he did the previous year, that doesn’t diminish his incredible accomplishments.
Holloway will step into the Octagon on Saturday night for his fight against Brian Ortega on an unprecedented 12 fight winning streak including victories over the likes of Jeremy Stephens, Ricardo Lamas and Cub Swanson.
More recently, Holloway has solidified his place as champion with finishes over Anthony Pettis and back-to-back TKO’s against arguably the greatest featherweight of all time in Jose Aldo.
Now Holloway won’t deny that Ortega has done some impressive things — undefeated in his career including seven fights in the UFC capped off by wins over both Renato Moicano and Frankie Edgar.
Still, Holloway has no problem comparing his resume to Ortega’s ahead of their showdown on Saturday night at UFC 231.
“Everything the guy did, I did better,” Holloway said on Wednesday during the UFC 231 pre-fight press conference. “He’s on what, a six-fight win streak? I got 12. He beat a champion? I beat two and I beat one of them twice. At the end of the day, the ‘Blessed’ express is going around in a circle.
“We’re lapping you, bro. And I’m younger than you so congratulations.”
While the two fighters have been relatively cordial towards each other in the lead up to this fight, Holloway’s words definitely earned him a few ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ amongst the Toronto faithful in attendance at the press conference.
Ortega could only smile when listening to what Holloway had to say about him and he offered even less in return when asked for a response.
“Sometimes the best response is no response” Ortega said.
Holloway was quick to throw his counter shot.
“Sometimes you don’t have a response,” Holloway said.
To his credit, Ortega did manage to fire one last parting shot at the featherweight champion while referencing his recent health struggles that knocked him out of their previous fight in July.
Holloway was pulled from the card after exhibiting ‘concussion like’ symptoms, although weeks worth of testing with physicians never actually revealed the culprit behind his problems.
Still, Ortega took a swipe at Holloway in closing while referencing his pre-fight interview prior to being pulled from the card when former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping noted how out of sorts he seemed when appearing on ‘UFC Tonight’.
“Someone is still delirious,” Ortega said with Holloway just nodding on the other side of the table.
There was definitely a lot of respect shown between the two fighters throughout the majority of the press conference but that was one particular exchange that certainly had fans on the edge of their seats in anticipation of this featherweight title bout.
Holloway will look to defend his belt for the second consecutive time while Ortega attempts to dethrone him, keep his undefeated record in tact and finally wrap UFC gold around his waist.