Max Holloway is coming to save the day this Saturday at UFC 223 in replacing the injured Tony Ferguson for a lightweight title fight. In doing so he may be winning the hearts of many fans fighting one of the toughest men in the division with Khabib Nurmagomedov, but he is also facing a very tough weight cut that could have an effect in his performance Saturday Night.
In a Q & A with ESPN at the beginning of the week, George Lockhart who is Holloway’s nutritionist said, “He’s heavy,” Lockhart also noted, “This is going to be tied for the biggest weight cut I’ve ever done.” The tie was for another fighter he did not name, but the other one was apparently done in four days according to the ESPN piece. Holloway has had six days and only he knows where he is at mid-week. The Wednesday press conference could include questions for Holloway who is listed as an attendee and could be telling of how it is going.
Lockhart said by the night before the official weigh-ins on Friday he hopes to have Holloway “within four pounds of 155.” The weigh-ins will be Friday morning but if the sport of mixed martial arts has shown fans anything about weight-cutting is that the fight to make weight can have different effects on the body. Coincidentally, the last time Nurmagomedov and Ferguson were supposed to face one another it was Nurmagomedov that problems with making the cut for UFC 209 and the bout was canceled.
When asked how heavy Holloway was at the start of the week Lockhart would not give specifics but if it were anywhere near 190 (or 187 in Lockhart’s example) the fight would have been turned down. Eddie Alvarez was said to have turned down the bout too because he was 190 and knew that type of cut would not be worth the risk according to a report from MMA Fighting.
It has been written here already that Brooklyn can be a strange place for MMA and with the history of headlining an event with Ferguson and Nurmagomedov Friday should make for an interesting and probably one of the most watched weigh-ins for MMA fans. One thing Lockhart made sure to point out was that Holloway saw the cut as another challenge he was ready for.
“I’m not gonna lie, I think he almost likes the amount of weight he has to lose, because it’s a challenge. Max has always said he doesn’t want to fight guys people think he can beat. He wants to fight the guys people think he’ll lose to. When you give him a challenge, he excels.” – George Lockhart
Read the full Q&A over at ESPN.com