Khabib Nurmagamedov Has a Lot of Respect for Max Holloway and the Hawaiian Fighter’s Achievements… But if ‘Blessed’ Thinks He’s Going to Jump the Queue at Lightweight, He’s Mistaken… That’s if ‘The Eagle’ is Match-Making Anyway…
Max Holloway is definitely the UFC’s flavour of the month. He’s extended his winning record to a phenomenal 13 straight victories, by beating Brian Ortega at UFC 231 in Toronto a couple of weeks ago. After essentially wiping out his division, many people believe that he is the best featherweight fighter of all time.
With this in mind, voices as high-profile as Dana White’s have called for ‘Blessed’ to move up a division and start a lightweight campaign. This definitely seems to be what will happen in the near future, because Holloway is very big for the division and has had weight issues in the past.
Now Khabib Nurmagamedov has got involved. The Russian champion is arguably the most dominant fighter on the roster. He’s unbeaten in 27 fights and is renowned for his crushing, dominant top game. Now he’s warned Holloway that he needs to get in line.
It’s worth remembering that the pair almost fought way back in April, at UFC 223. Holloway was booked as a last-minute replacement for Tony Ferguson, in an insane fight week. However, the Hawaiian was forced to withdraw when the NYSAC prevented him from continuing his weight cut.
Did he dodge a bullet? It’s an interesting question because now he’s become one of the most visible and marketable faces in the organization. He looks unbeatable in his own division, having basically evolved since being schooled by Conor McGregor back in 2013. A loss to Khabib could have punctured his hopes of major future success – both in terms of legacy with super fights, and financially.
Get in Line
Khabib praised Holloway after putting a phenomenal beating on Brian Ortega. He broke the record for most strikes thrown in one fight, and left Ortega’s face looking like some sort of pulverised fruit. He does believe though, that Holloway needs to earn his place at the top of the lightweight roster before getting a title shot. He said:
“@TeamKhabib: Max is doing well, this is interesting to me, he is my potential rival.. but this is different category for him, other body structure, another wrestling.
“I think he needs to do some fights if he goes into lightweight division, to test your capabilities. This is purely my opinion. After all, in my weight there are those who deserve it more; @TonyFergusonXT, @DustinPoirier ..”
Basically, there should be a riot if any fighter other than Tony Ferguson gets the next shot at the lightweight title. It’s definitely the fight to make – even if it has been booked a ludicrous four times.
Holloway is a very exciting fighter. Lightweight is definitely in his future because realistically only Renato Moicano and Frankie Edgar are there for him at 145lbs right now. If Moicano loses to Jose Aldo, then that’s gone too. Could we get McGregor v Holloway 2? It’s very possible.