Max Holloway could be back sooner rather than later if the UFC matchmakers play their cards right.
“Blessed” is coming off of an exciting third-round knockout of The Korean Zombie at UFC Singapore, a win that kept his UFC featherweight record flawless outside of three losses to current champion Alexander Volkanovski. Holloway’s 0-3 record in the series has presented a seemingly immovable road block to a fourth fight and left him with an uncertain future.
In an interview posted to Holloway’s YouTube channel, he explained what it would take to get him back into the cage sooner rather than later.
“2023, right now, we’ll see what happens,” Holloway said. “I would love to—It’s a fight that would have to make sense. Being undeniable. I ain’t going to call anybody out. If I can go early next year around February, March, that would be great. If they come up with something that I cannot, that I really cannot deny, that I really can’t be like, ‘This is too juicy to give up, I’ll fight one more time.’
“Right now, I’m looking more towards the beginning of next year. We had a few injuries going into here. There was also some stuff personally that I want to get done, that I want to do, me and my wife. At the end of the day, we’ll see what happens, we’ll see what’s in store and we’ll go from there.”
One reason it’s so difficult to book Holloway is that while he hasn’t been good enough to defeat Volkanovski, he’s still the clear-cut No. 2 featherweight in the world, a ranking that he’s held on to by fending off would-be contenders like Arnold Allen, Yair Rodriguez, and Calvin Kattar.
Those successes have kept Holloway in the mix, while also counterintuitively placing him in matchmaking limbo. As it stands, he can’t think of an opponent that makes sense for him to face next.
“The current featherweight landscape is super cool,” Holloway said. “I mean, I’ve fought most of the top 10 guys, I think there’s only two guys I didn’t fight in the top 10, or three, I’m not sure. I think it’s cool. A bunch of new names, a bunch of new faces, and there’s nobody [I want to call out.] I don’t need to call out nobody.”
That leaves Holloway to trudge on in one of MMA’s deepest divisions, cursed to take on elite competition without any guarantee that he’ll get another shot at the very best. A two-time champion in his own right, Holloway still believes that there’s more to accomplish.
And he still believes that there’s business to be settled with Volkanovski.
“For me, going back for that title shot, whoever has that belt, hopefully it’s Volk,” Holloway said. “That fourth Volk fight would be amazing. We’ve just got to be undeniable. Keep doing what we’re doing. The fans got to do their part. You guys want to see that fight, you let them know. That’s what the UFC is known for. For putting the best guys in the world against each other.
“I’m here, I’m not taking breaks, I’m not being like, ‘I’m owed this, I’m owed that.’ I’m fighting anybody and everybody to get back there. I’m going to be clawing and scratching my way back to the top. Like I said, like we’ve been saying, undeniable, and I’m just going to keep proving to you guys and keep showing you guys why I’m undeniable and go and get back what’s rightfully ours.”