Max Holloway is young, but the 25-year-old has been around the UFC since 2012. He might be the reigning featherweight champion, but the casual fan may not know him. Before he defeated José Aldo to become the undisputed 145-pound champ, Holloway’s most notable fight was his decision loss to Conor McGregor in 2013.
Since the loss to superstar Irishman, Holloway has gone on to win 11 fights in a row, an interim title and then the official featherweight title, which he secured in the spring of 2017. He’s vibrant and not afraid to fight anyone, and with so much uncertainty surrounding the superstars in the UFC, Holloway is a perfect fit. He’s a fighting Hawaiian that the UFC hasn’t seen the likes of since the days of B.J. Penn.
Inside the Octagon, the results speak for themselves. In his last 11 victories, Holloway has racked up six knockout or TKO wins, three decisions, and two submission finishes. As he has climbed his way up the ladder, he has defeated Cub Swanson, Jeremy Stephens, Ricardo Lamas, Anthony Pettis and the aforementioned Aldo. Holloway is truly down to fight anyone the UFC sends his way.
Holloway has never been shy to call on UFC President Dana White in hopes of getting a bonus check for his troubles. As champion, Holloway has become even more vocal about bringing the promotion to his home state of Hawaii. White has discussed the difficulties of doing so, but that won’t stop the titleholder from continuing his verbal pursuit of a Hawaiian fight card.
Just like his former foe McGregor has the people of Ireland behind him, Holloway has a whole nation of Hawaiian people supporting him. He has single-handedly put them on his back and brought them along for every step of his rise inside the UFC.
Frankie Edgar is expected to be Holloway’s next opponent, and he’s game. If he has to fight Edgar in the former lightweight champion’s backyard at Madison Square Garden, so be it. There’s not a fighter, location or challenge too big for the Hawaiian. So, we might get to see Holloway defend his title against Edgar, and it’s a fight that will have many people excited. Yet, there’s more to come.
In theory, if Holloway does fight and defeat Edgar, it’s not too far-fetched to believe that the “Blessed” one will call out McGregor, who continues to say that he is still both the 145- and 155-pound champion inside the UFC. The idea of Holloway cutting a promo to call out McGregor should make fans just as excited as they would be for any fight he’s in.
With so many questions surrounding the lack of superstars inside the UFC, there’s one 25-year-old champion who can bring more excitement to the UFC. He proves it inside the Octagon. He proves it on the microphone. He proves it with his willingness to fight anyone sent his way. Holloway is the superstar the UFC needs.