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Max Holloway looking to 'start 2014 off with a bang'

Max Holloway will face Will Chope at UFC Fight Night 34, and the 22-year-old is looking to establish himself as one of the greatest

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

At 22 years of age, most people have barely begun to launch their professional careers. At that young age, UFC featherweight Max Holloway is already looking to reinvent himself in his chosen career.

Holloway, with only 17 months professional experience to his name, debuted with the UFC in February 2012. His first fight with the promotion came when he stepped in to face Dustin Poirier as an injury replacement for Ricardo Lamas. Holloway was 4-0 at the time, and the youngest fighter on the UFC's roster.

Holloway was aggressive during his Octagon debut, showing no evidence of Octagon jitters to go along with a developing striking game. In the end, the ground fighting of Poirier was too much for Holloway, and he fell to a mounted triangle armbar submission in the first round.

Holloway followed that loss with victories over Pat Schilling, Justin Lawrence and Leonard Garcia. The UFC then raised the stakes for Holloway, pairing him against Dennis Bermudez and Conor McGregor. Holloway dropped both those fights by decision.

Heading into Saturday's UFC Fight Night 34 bout against Will Chope, Holloway spoke to MMAJunkie radio and addressed how he ended 2013, "I'm going through a tough time right now, but that was last year, and this is the first card of 2014. I'm trying to start the year off with a bang."

Holloway is not happy with his 3-3 record in the UFC and he is approaching his fight against Chope as a new start to his career. "I'm here to win. I want to win. I don't want to be a .500 fighter in the UFC," Holloway said. "I want to be known as one of the greatest when my career is up. I was trying to rush things. I keep forgetting that I'm only 22-years-old. I just need to slow things down and take little baby steps.

As for his opponents 14-fight winning streak heading into Saturday's fight card, Holloway noted that none of those victories came while fighting in the UFC, and that Chope will find out that, "The UFC is a whole different animal."