Max Holloway rips ‘questionable’ Ilia Topuria: ‘They gave me a lot of up and coming contenders, and there’s 1 that didn’t come my way’

Max Holloway has some pointed words for Ilia Topuria.

On Saturday, Holloway faces Justin Gaethje at UFC 300 for the “BMF” title bout. Though the bout is at 155 pounds, the former featherweight champion made it clear he’s not done with 145 pounds, telling reporters he wants to keep his options open. He also threw some shade at newly crowned featherweight champion Ilia Topuria.

“We’ll see what happens,” Holloway said at the UFC 300 media day. “In this sport, having options is always good. First thing’s first is Justin Gaethje, but there’s a fun fight down there. The man keeps talking, and I keep hearing. My only advice to that guys is when the contract comes up, sign on the dotted line. Don’t make no excuses.”

Topuria won the title by knocking out Alexander Volkanovski at UFC 298 in February. Even before that, he dismissed Holloway as a potential title challenger, saying it wouldn’t make sense to fight someone who lost to Volkanovski three times.

Holloway has his own thoughts about what doesn’t make sense, suggesting Topuria already ducked him during his rise in the ranks.

“Questionable,” Holloway said when asked about Topuria. “That’s it. Questionable. Everybody keeps asking me, what do I think of Topuria? He’s questionable. I’ll fight him. Go ask him that question. Ask him that question about me. At the end of the day, UFC, I always want to fight for the title, I always want to do this, a lot of contenders, they gave me a lot of up and coming contenders, and there’s one that didn’t come my way. You can ask UFC about that, you can ask him the question.”

But any matchup between Holloway and Topuria comes later. For one thing, Topuria appears to be destined for a rematch with Volkanovski later this year. For another, Holloway has to deal with Justin Gaethje this weekend. The last time Holloway attempted to jump up to 155 pounds and win a title, he lost a decision to Dustin Poirier.

But this time around, Holloway said things are different.

“That Dustin fight, it is what it is,” Holloway said. “My manager was calling me ‘Muffin Top Max’ that whole camp. At the end of the day, that’s what it was. For this fight, we wanted to put on the right weight, we wanted to be smart, we wanted to be strong, but we still wanted to be fast. I think we found a very even ground, and you guys get to see come Saturday night. …

“They came with an opportunity, and opportunities like that, you do not say no,” Holloway continued. “It was just a time thing. With the [Dustin] one, it was like six weeks, and if you count down the two weeks you come down from training camp, that’s like four weeks. At the end of the day, real fighters stay ready, like I always say. I feel like I was ready.

“If you go watch that Dustin fight, there’s a couple things I had to change, and the outcome is different. Now, we had 10 weeks. … You guys get to see the difference. A lot of people like looking in the past, like searching for stuff, they keep forgetting what’s right in front of them. You guys are going to see come Saturday night.”

UFC 300 takes place on Saturday at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas and is headlined by a light heavyweight title fight between Alex Pereira and Jamahal Hill.

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