While UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor has his sights set on a successful return to the 155-pound division, UFC featherweight king Max Holloway is warning “Notorious” to stay away from 145 pounds.
Remember, McGregor once ruled over the featherweight division after knocking out Jose Aldo in 13 seconds back in 2015. And while “Notorious” defeated Holloway via unanimous decision over four years ago, the Hawaiian believes he would get the best of McGregor in a potential reboot.
“There’s this fairytale,” Holloway said earlier this week while speaking with MMA Tonight on SiriusXM Rush. “Everybody’s talking about him as the champion and this and that but his last four fights he’s 2-2 , one of them being questionable. He could have been 1-3 right now if we’re being totally honest. At the end of the day, there’s this fairytale to him and this fairytale breaks if he fights someone like me and I beat him.”
Since McGregor’s departure to the UFC lightweight division, as well as two stops off at welterweight and a boxing superfight with Floyd Mayweather Jr., Holloway has won 11 fights in a row, including finishes of Aldo and former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis. If there was anyone to welcome McGregor back into the mix at 145 pounds it would be Holloway, who understands the game that “Notorious” is playing.
“He runs his mouth, he talks the talk, and he’s been walking the walk, so touché to him,” Holloway admitted. “At the end of the day, when I talk I’m not saying stuff to try and hurt your feelings. When I speak, I speak facts and if you’re getting mad, it’s because you know it’s the truth. That guy tries to push it off a little bit more in a WWE way and that’s him, that’s fair play to him. He can do it, I can’t do that. I’m pretty sure that if a lot of people could do it, we’d be doing it. You can’t and you’ve got to respect someone like that.
“He does it his way, I’m doing it my way. When I start running my mouth I start running facts, I start giving guys numbers, I start giving guys ideas of where I come from and where I work. He just kind of wants to get under your skin but you can’t be mad at the guy, that’s his personality. I’m not a hater. I respect him. He’s on his grind and he’s using it and he’s getting his, so fair play to him.”
While McGregor has bigger fish to fry at lightweight, which includes a trilogy fight with Nate Diaz and prospective title fights opposite top contenders like Tony Ferguson, Kevin Lee, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Justin Gaethje, a rematch with Holloway wouldn’t be the worst thing to book. Holloway as clearly leveled up his skill set since 2013 and may actually give McGregor a run for his money. That’s if the Irishman, as well as UFC, wants it.
“At the end of the day, they want their fairytale to end, they know who to call but they don’t want to,” Holloway proclaimed. “They want to run off into the sunset and that’s them.”