Max Holloway came up short in his bid to become interim lightweight champion earlier this year, but a lone setback isn’t going to deter him from his ultimate goal to win a second UFC title in the future.
Back in April, the reigning featherweight king moved up to 155 pounds and engaged in a five-round war with Dustin Poirier that he lost by unanimous decision. Before the fight happened, Holloway was touted as a serious threat to the lightweight division as a fighter who might be more naturally built to compete at 155 pounds rather than cutting down to featherweight.
Afterwards, Holloway was then told he was too small to compete at lightweight and featherweight was probably the wiser choice for him.
“People are going to say you should have done this or done that or you should fight here or not but we don’t really know. You don’t really know until you fight,” Holloway said when speaking to MMA Fighting. “Styles make fights.
“They were saying I was a big 145’er and then I went to 155 and they said I was a small 155’er. It’s very confusing. When I get to my second chance at 155, 170, 185 or heavyweight, whatever it is, the world’s going to see. Things happen. We’ve got everything clicking full power right now, and I just can’t wait.”
Following his loss to Poirier in April, Holloway made a quick turn around and earned a lopsided decision against Frankie Edgar in his return to 145 pounds in July.
Next up for Holloway is another defense of his featherweight title against Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 245 in December.
Holloway doesn’t like looking ahead past his next opponent, which is why he’s not going to start making outlandish statements now about his plans for 2020 until he gets through Volkanovski.
That said, Holloway knows there is a future for him in the lightweight division.
“100 percent [I will return to lightweight],” Holloway said. “There’s a future for me in the heavyweight division just watch me. It is what it is. That first fight, it’s not how you start the race, it’s how you finish.
“I’m contracted as a 145’er with a belt and I didn’t want to be holding up people or holding up a division. That’s why I came back. If they want me back at 155, who knows? The main event slot is 170. You don’t know what happens fight night. I’ll fight my fight and if they need someone to hurry up and go out there and fight, “Blessed” is here.”
While his UFC lightweight debut didn’t go the way he hoped, Holloway still took away a lot from spending 25 minutes in the Octagon with someone as good as Poirier.
He came up short that night but that won’t stop Holloway from going back and trying it all over again.
“I learned a lot about myself in that fight,” Holloway explained. “I dug deep. I’m a fighter. I’ll fight heavyweight if I like. I did things and stood in front of him that guys in his weight couldn’t do. There’s a lot of things we took away from that fight and it’s only a loss if you don’t take anything away. We took a lot away.
“I learned. It’s either win or learn and that’s what we did. I learned a lot in that fight. I learned a lot about myself. I learned about my team and coaches and we came back strong. We took everything we learned from that fight and brought it into the next fight [against Frankie Edgar] and you saw how that went.”