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Max Holloway stepping in keeps main event raises excitement for UFC 223

Max Holloway focused on reclaiming title, believes his “reign is gonna continue” in 2021

Max Holloway is not only looking to remain active in 2021, but the 29-year-old Hawaiian has his sights set on reclaiming the 145-pound title.

“In a perfect world, if I got to make up my plan for this year, is I would like to fight during the summer and then maybe try and get a December fight in,” Holloway told MMAJunkie. “I want to fight three times this year, maybe get in there in the summertime, July hopefully, and then get in on another card with UFC, so we’ll see what happens. That’s just what I want to do in a perfect world, fight in July, fight in December.”

After losing consecutive fights to current titleholder Alexander Volkanovski in 2019 and 2020, “Blessed” bounced back with a historic victory over Calvin Kattar on UFC on ABC 1 earlier this year in Abu Dhabi. That win has put Holloway in contention to challenge the winner of March 27’s UFC 260 title bout between Volkanovski and Brian Ortega, whom Holloway beat in dominant fashion in 2018.

Although he has a history with both fighters, Holloway doesn’t have a preference as to who wins.

“No preference at all,” Holloway said. “May the best man win. I just want the best guys across from me. When it’s all said and done, when these lights, when these interviews are done, when I’m long gone from fighting, when I’m long gone from this earth, I wanna be in history. I wanna be one of those guys that fought the who’s who names of MMA, and that’s what you do. So I ain’t picking and choosing, and I ain’t got no favorites.”

Given his past with both men, some have argued that it would favor Holloway if Ortega were to win the title. At the same time, although he technically lost on both occasions, the two fights between Volkanovski and Holloway were both incredibly close. Many even felt as if the Hawaiian should’ve been given the decision in the rematch.

So while it may seem that a rematch with Ortega would be easier for Holloway to land, don’t count out a trilogy bout between “Blessed” and Volkanovski. UFC President Dana White acknowledged himself that Holloway was deserving of a third crack at the champion after his win over Kattar.

Regardless of how that fight plays out at UFC 260, however, Max Holloway believes he’ll be back on top before long.

“After the fight that night, he (White) went to the media, and he said what he said,” Holloway told MMA Junkie. “With Alex and Ortega coming up, everybody knows I’m the cloud over that fight. At the end of the day, let them focus on each other, and then, when it’s all said and done, the reign is gonna continue, so I can’t wait.”

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