Max Holloway

Kevin Lee thinks Max Holloway would be at a disadvantage if he moves up to lightweight

After Max Holloway defeated Brian Ortega to retain his featherweight belt at UFC 231, the talk was he was going to go up to lightweight. As, after his dominating win, UFC President Dana White urged Holloway to move up to lightweight.

“Listen, Max is a grown man and we need to talk but I’d like to see Max go to [155] now,” White said at the UFC 231 post-fight press conference. “I think that the guy is 27 going on 28-years-old, he’s in the prime of his life, never looked better. Continues to improve every single fight that he’s in and I think he’s done everything he can do at [145]. Why keep cutting that weight and I think there’s some big things for him at 55.”

While White would like to see Holloway move up, UFC Milwaukee headliner Kevin Lee would like to see Holloway stay down. He thinks Holloway can have a dominant run as a champion at featherweight. While at lightweight, he would be at a severe disadvantage due to his size.

“I feel like that’s not the way you get it done. That’s not the way you become a superstar by automatically let’s just bump up. You see the same thing with Khabib,” Lee said on The MMA Hour. “I told this to Ali, you win one fight and all of a sudden you want to fight Floyd Mayweather for $100 million. Come on, this is not how this game works. It’s a marathon. Keep putting in the work, keep taking out No. 1 contenders and then maybe you will get there eventually. You talk about guys like Georges St-Pierre who had to defend the title nine or ten times before they started saying that. I feel that is the way the sport should really be. Let’s get back to the real sport, let’s get back to, we’ve already seen it.”

“Why do you want Max to come up and fight somebody like Khabib or like me? It’s unfair for him to even have to, that’s a lot of weight. People do not understand, we are competitors,” Lee continued. “We are just too big and too strong. It’s too big of a disadvantage. I feel like it needs to be a clear playing field, and then that’s when you really see the best fight.”

Ultimately, it is up to Holloway on whether or not he wants to move up. For now, he is taking time after a hard-fought win on Saturday. If he does indeed move up to lightweight there are several intriguing fights waiting for him.