As 2024 nears, the names of fighters likely to welcome Conor McGregor in the ring are starting to float. That includes Max Holloway, who believes a rematch against the Irishman is possible. Aside from McGregor, nonetheless, Holloway is also aiming for a BMF title fight against No. 2-ranked lightweight fighter Justin Gaethje at UFC 300.
Holloway faced McGregor in August 2013 in Boston during a UFC Fight Night. However, “Blessed” lost to McGregor via unanimous decision. Despite that, Holloway is hopeful that McGregor will still consider his past statement that there could be a rematch between them.
“Conor McGregor fights who he wants to fight, and I’m always on the shortlist for him,” Holloway told ESPN. “It probably irks him that I was the only man that he didn’t get to put away in the featherweight division, so we’ll see.
“A lot of people are saying (Michael) Chandler, but if you think Dana White has a nasty curveball, Conor’s curveball is way more nasty than his. At the end of the day, we’ll see what happens. I’m always on the shortlist for the dude. I’m just glad that there is talks of him coming back, and we’ll wait to see when the talk is. Everything is talk until it’s not, until he’s making that walk to the octagon.”
Though McGregor indeed said in 2021 during an interview that he and Holloway “will do it again,” Holloway would have to get in line to get the rematch he’s hoping for. Aside from him and the rumored bout against Chandler, McGregor aims for a rematch with Dustin Poirier.
To recall, while “The Notorious” won his first fight against Poirier in 2014, the last two bouts between them were claimed by “The Diamond.” Now, McGregor seems to redeem himself, saying in a recent tweet that their fight is a “must.” Poirier, nonetheless, said there’s no point in having a fourth fight, although he wouldn’t say no if the UFC itself pushes the idea. With all that, this might put Holloway at the end of the list in case McGregor returns in 2024.
Yet, McGregor isn’t the only target of Holloway. According to the No. 1-ranked featherweight and No. 12-ranked pound-for-pound fighter, he’s also considering Gaethje, the current UFC BMF Champion. Recently, Holloway called out Gaethje, who seems to be a perfect choice since Islam Makhachev and Charles Oliveira are expected to face each other soon. According to Holloway, a fight between him and Gaethje would be something that will please fans.
“I was shooting my shot for that ‘BMF’ with ‘The Highlight’ (Gaethje),” Holloway told ESPN. “I think we both would make a fun one for the fans, there’s that ‘BMF’ belt. I know they’re short on guys for UFC 300, so that would be ideal. One for the fans because he’s going to be waiting. If Islam doesn’t fight between Ramadan, he is going to have to wait all the way until October and his last fight, that will be over a year and a half.
“I don’t think he should be sitting around that long. So, in the meantime, why not have a fun one, both make a lot of money, and we’ll put on a show and make a lot of fans happy? That was the idea.”