Max Holloway 26, has established himself as one of the promotion’s top champions, he appears to be in the prime of his career after consecutive wins over Jose Aldo. However, difficult part here is, Holloway is moving up in weight on less than a days notice to face one of the toughest and dominant fighters in the sports, as Blessed is a 145-pound fighter competing at 155 pounds on April 7th.
Manager Brian Butler-Au of SuckerPunch Entertainment’s main concern here if featherweight champion can able to make the 155-pound weight limit in such little time, however, Holloway’s nutrition team was positive that he will be able to make weight, so I got the deep breath lets go:(Quote Via BloodyElbow)
“[Holloway] immediately said to me, ‘Let’s f-cking do it, bro. This is how legends are made.’ That’s exactly what he said to me,” Butler-Au told Ariel Helwani on Monday’s The MMA Hour. “I said, ‘We gotta let George (Lockhart) crunch the numbers.’
“I’m sure he can make the weight; I want him to make it healthily and I don’t want it to have any long-term effects on him. George crunched the numbers; it took about an hour, hour and a half for George to do all that, check everything out. He came back, said he can 100 percent do it, it’s gonna be a grind for him, but if anybody can do it, Max can, and he can do it in a healthy manner. After that, it was on.”
Joanna Jedrzejczyk’s nutritionist George Lockhart told BloodyElbow he will make wonders in Holloway’s weight cut:
“This is literally tied with the biggest cut I’ve ever done. It’s the exact same number as the biggest cut that I’ve ever done in my life, The way he cut weight for his last fight showed me the kid’s an animal and he’s very disciplined, so we went ahead with it. I know Max is going to do what he needs to do.”
Holloways initial plan wasn’t to challenge for second UFC title, he asked the promotion if this fight could happen at 170 pounds, but UFC was on the dot said it should be for lightweight title only, so Holloway and team eventually agreed to that.
“We said we would do it at welterweight,” Butler-Au said. “And UFC wanted it to be a title fight. So we reevaluated (the situation).”
The weight cut will be so intense that Max Holloway won’t be able to train at all to fight undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov.
But the manager said Holloway was more than happy to save this Saturday’s PPV main headliner at UFC 223.
“I’m never surprised with Max — and I’m not just saying that,” Butler-Au said. “The kid is seriously one of the most strong-minded people I’ve ever met. I’m not surprised. Not at all.”
UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway was supposed to defend his title against Frankie Edgar at UFC 222 on March 3 in Las Vegas, but an injury pulled him out of the card. The manager said Holloway’s injury healed faster than doctor’s expectation, and he also got back to the gym. So it means he is ready to go.
“The treatment that they did on him really took to him as well as they could to anybody,” Butler-Au said. “He has been training, and he has been testing it, he has been pushing it. So far, he’s pushed it pretty hard, and it seems OK.
“This was just one of those things where we had to weigh out the options on whether or not the opportunity was worth the risk and Max wanted to do it. He’s kind of talked about this moment for a long time — we just didn’t know it would happen on six days’ notice.”
Holloway will enter the cage as the +365 underdog, while Nurmagomedov stands as the -505 favorite. If Holloway scores a victory on Saturday, he will be the second fighter in UFC history to hold two belts at the same time.
“I think he wants to do what the other champion didn’t and make a statement that way,” Butler-Au said. “I do know his time as a 145-pounder was probably going to be on the clock soon, but he had full intentions to defend it two to three more times before he made any moves. My guess from knowing Max is he’s going to want to do something that hasn’t been done.”
UFC 223 is set to go down this Saturday, April 7, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.