Max Holloway Took BMF Title Fight To Avoid Waiting For Topuria/Volkanovski Rematch, Believes Makhachev Should Have Fought In February

Max Holloway didn't want to "sit out another year" before potentially receiving a featherweight title shot.

Max Holloway
Max Holloway (left), Ilia Topuria (middle), and Islam Makhachev (right)(Images via Instagram @BlessedMMA @IliaTopuria @Islam_Makhachev)

Max Holloway further explained why he accepted a fight against Justin Gaethje at UFC 300.

On Saturday night, Holloway will participate in a highly-anticipated war at 155 pounds against Justin Gaethje for the latter’s BMF title. ‘Blessed’ is temporarily leaving the featherweight division, where he holds a two-fight winning streak after taking out Arnold Allen and ‘The Korean Zombie’ Chan Sung Jung. 

Many fans have questioned why Holloway is fighting at 155 pounds instead of pursuing another featherweight title shot, especially after Ilia Topuria dethroned Alexander Volkanovski in February. During an interview with Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson, the Hawaiian fan favorite had this to say about the situation: 

“You can’t tell me what I’m doing [fighting for the BMF title] makes no sense. At the end of the day, anybody can help. Justin Gaethje was next and then his title shot got stopped because of the whole cut with [Charles] Oliveira. Now Dustin [Poirier] had his fight like that [against Benoit Saint-Denis] and now Dustin is going to fight for the title, they are saying. Bro, this game keeps changing on the dime.”

Holloway continued by doubling down on the idea that Volkanovski deserves an immediate rematch against Topuria: 

“Everybody is like, ‘Oh, you should be fighting Ilia [Topuria]. My mindset was if Ilia won, how do you not give Alex [Volkanovski] a direct rematch? No matter what it is, the knockout or decision, whatever it is. Alex did the body of work to get a direct rematch. That’s what I felt. So, I felt if Ilia won, and my chance of getting the title shot was against Ilia, so at the end of the day, I was probably going to have to sit out another year because if he does win, Volk would want a rematch, and they’ll probably wait a little while for a rematch.”

Max Holloway believes Islam Makhachev should have fought in February before Ramadan

Islam Makhachev last fought in October 2023, defeating Alexander Volkanovski for a second time to defend his lightweight throne. Since then, Makhachev has been inactive because he didn’t secure another fight before Ramadan, which runs between March and April. 

During the previously mentioned interview, Max Holloway discussed the complicated lightweight title picture featuring Justin Gaethje, Dustin Poirier, and the winner of Charles Oliveira vs Arman Tsarukyan at UFC 300. ‘Blessed’ had this to say about Makhachev making things more complicated by not fighting before Ramadan:

“I saw Islam talk about [Gaethje vs Holloway] makes no sense. You should have fought Justin in February. Why did the guy you knock out turn around so fast to fight in February when you were healthy?… Everybody knows you can’t fight in Ramadan. That’s why they couldn’t do the fight at 300 with Leon [Edwards] or whatever, he couldn’t get another fight. He’s complaining like, ‘I can’t get fights.’ I’m like it’s because you’re only fighting around the times you want to fight. It’s not you can’t get fights. You’re just not taking the fights that have been offered because of certain things that are going on.”

The results of UFC 300 could create more questions than answers for the lightweight title picture. Justin Gaethje or Max Holloway likely won’t be ready for another fight by the time Islam Makhachev wants to return. Therefore, Makhachev’s next opponent could come down to the winner between Charles Oliveira and Arman Tsarukyan or Dustin Poirier.

Watch Holloway’s entire interview with Johnson below:

Published on April 9, 2024 at 7:38 pm
Stay up-to-date with the latest MMA news, rumors, and updates by following the RED Monster on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram. Also, don't forget to add MiddleEasy to your Google News feed Follow us on Google News for even more coverage.


Leave a Comment