The reason behind Max Holloway’s recent fight pullout remains to be a mystery. The reigning featherweight champion himself refuses to divulge any specifics, apart from what he said were reasons connected to his diet during fight week of his originally scheduled title defense against Brian Ortega at UFC 226 in July.
But if there is one thing that is clear for Holloway, it’s that his problematic year is not at all related to weight cutting issues.
“I never missed weight,” Holloway told reporters during a UFC 231 pre-fight media scrum (transcript by MMA Fighting). “Everybody keeps talking about this weight thing, and blah blah blah. Have I ever stepped on the scale and missed weight? That answers your own question.”
Holloway’s recent uncertainty to fight has kept everyone, including the UFC, on their toes. Case in point: having Renato Moicano on deck as a possible replacement fighter.
For this, Holloway also had something to say.
“At the end of the day, I’ll show up. We’ll see what happens when I show up and we meet in the Octagon,” Holloway said of Ortega. “I can’t wait to see him.”
While he says there is “not a shot” that UFC 231 will be his final fight at 145 pounds, Holloway says he is also open to eventually moving up in weight.
“If it’s going up a weight class, then it’s going up,” he said. “If it’s staying here and defending my belt a couple of times, it’s staying here; if it’s fighting my good friend [Daniel Cormier], ‘The Kung Fu Panda’, ‘The Daddest Man on the Planet’, so be it. I want to be the best ever.”
UFC 231 happens at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It will be co-headlined by a women’s flyweight title fight between Valentina Shevchenko and Joanna Jędrzejczyk.