Max Holloway calls for McGregor rematch


On Saturday night at the Prudential Centre in Newark, New Jersey, Max “Blessed” Holloway announced himself as one of the true elite of the UFC’s featherweight division.

Holloway (13-3 MMA, 9-3 UFC) extended his win streak to six in exceptionally impressive fashion, outstriking the fifth-ranked Cub Swanson (21-7 MMA, 6-3 UFC) for the duration of the fight before finishing by submission deep in the third round.

“I hit him with a left hand and I hurt him, but he didn’t show it,” Holloway said after the fight. “I jumped on him and he had his head straight forward, so I got a couple good strikes in and got the guillotine. I want to be the best in the world, and if you’re not here for that reason then you’re just going through the motions.”

Swanson himself was on a six-fight tear and in line for a title shot prior to his November loss to Frankie Edgar, which makes the Hawaiian’s performance all the more impressive. This was reflected in the fact that Holloway picked up one of the event’s ‘Performance of the Night’ bonuses – his third bonus since the beginning of 2014.

Now, with twelve UFC fights under his belt and only 23 years old, “Blessed” has a wealth of experience and appears to be improving exponentially with each outing. The Max Holloway that dismantled Swanson on Saturday is virtually unrecognisable from the 20-year-old who filled in on short notice to fight Dustin Poirier in his UFC debut. Despite his undeniable evolution, the losses suffered by Holloway earlier in his career do not sit well with the young islander, and there appears to be one loss he is particularly eager to avenge.

“I want to beat the guys who beat me, and I want that win back over Conor McGregor,” Holloway said. “He keeps saying the only reason he didn’t finish me is because he had a hurt knee. It’s disrespectful. So, let’s test that. I’d love to fight him again, but I’ll fight anyone any time, any place.”

Holloway reiterated these sentiments when he responded to a Conor McGregor tweet last night.
Considering the one-sided nature of the first encounter between the two – and the fact that McGregor managed the dominant victory with a torn ACL – one could be forgiven for dismissing the idea of a rematch out of hand. If Holloway continues to improve at the current rate, however, a rematch between the pair may be inevitable.

Whether the paths of two of the featherweight division’s most exciting fighters cross again remains to be seen. For now, Holloway is suspended indefinitely pending an X-ray of his left wrist, while McGregor has the small matter of a title fight against Jose Aldo in July.

Owner/Editor of Writer, Podcaster, Producer of 'Notorious: Conor McGregor' film, 'Conor McGregor: Notorious' TV series, 'Ten Thousand Hours', 'The Fighting Irish' and more documentary films.

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