It was a failed attempt for Max Holloway to capture another UFC gold and the promotion’s top honcho now wants him back in his territory.
The reigning featherweight champ moved up to 155 pounds on Saturday in a bid to add another chip to his collection.
In what many considered as a strong Fight of the Year contender, Holloway dug deep to his arsenal to no avail as he was overwhelmed by Dustin Poirier in a thrilling UFC 236 main event.
The loss ended the featherweight GOAT’s 13-fight winning streak. He also failed to earn a shot to challenge Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed title.
In the post-fight interview, “Blessed” said his future at the lightweight division remains uncertain.
He quipped that he is willing to fight in any weight class that would help him improve his pound for pound rankings.
But for the UFC president, returning to the featherweight division would be best for Holloway.
Max Holloway is a Warrior. pic.twitter.com/7WYo5rGcFb
— MMA History Today (@MMAHistoryToday) April 15, 2019
Holloway took on Poirier in the main event of UFC 236 for their rematch that was seven years in the making.
After 25 minutes of nailbiting exchanges, the Hawaiian fan favourite came up short in the judge’s scorecards. He lost to Poirier via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46).
“I am not going to take nothing away from Dustin,” he told Joe Rogan in the post-fight Octagon interview.
“He beat a world champion and is a world champion. There ain’t no interim sh*t. He’s a world champion. Congrats, brother.”
Asked about his plans after the UFC 236 loss, Holloway quipped he is willing to try different weight classes.
“I’m still a champ.
Whatever that gets me closer to the pound-for-pound title this year.
I tell you guys if it’s 170, 185, or 205.
My best friend DC over here in the front, if he wants it, he can get it. I don’t care.”
But if White were to ask, he wants Holloway to go back at featherweight, where he holds the most wins in the division’s history. (Quotes from MMA Junkie)
“It’s crazy, what I didn’t expect is he looked small at 155. So I look forward to him going back to 145.”
According to the UFC chief, “Blessed” needed to skip the post-fight media duties as he was rushed to the hospital after the pay-per-view event.
Though he is known for his textbook striking, it was his opponent who landed bigger shots during the five-round war.
Holloway reportedly sustained cuts around his eyes and a broken nose.
“We took him straight from the octagon to the hospital.
I told my guys, ‘I don’t want him doing any interviews. Take him straight to the hospital.’
He’s tough, he’s awesome, but I’d like to see him at 145 pounds again.
Poirier looked much bigger than him in my opinion.”
Life is chutes and ladders. Sometimes we gotta take that slide down to get to the next big ladder. It is what it is. We keep playing. We keep fighting. Congrats to Dustin and Jolie. They should've already had a belt. Diamonds are forever pic.twitter.com/9IKYoZAg1P
— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) April 14, 2019
(Featured Image Source: YouTube/ESPN and Instagram/Max Holloway)