Max Holloway put on the performance of his career at UFC 231, battering top contender Brian Ortega to retain his featherweight title at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada on Saturday.
Holloway teed off on ‘T-City’ until doctors were forced to intervene and stop the fight in between the fourth and fifth rounds, earning a $50,000 Performance of the Night bonus for his efforts.
‘Blessed’ handed Ortega his first ever professional loss and, speaking to the media at the UFC 231 post-fight press conference, the Hawaiian fan favourite said he would like to move up in weight and become the first man to beat Khabib Nurmagomedov inside the Octagon.
“Khabib is another undefeated fighter,” Holloway said, per MMA Fighting’s Marc Raimondi. “I got this niche, I guess. I just gave an undefeated fighter his first loss. So maybe that one might excite me the most. We were supposed to have that one. So we’ll see what happens. I don’t know. I ain’t picky. Feed me. They all can get it.”
Holloway was originally supposed to challenge Nurmagomedov for the vacant lightweight title at UFC 223 but was forced to withdraw from the bout after the New York State Athletic Commission ruled him medically unfit to compete.
Holloway — as well as UFC president Dana White — is also interested in a lightweight bout with Tony Ferguson, claiming that he has a ‘bone to pick’ with the former interim champion.
“We’ll see what happens,” Holloway said. “That’s a fun fight. You guys watched Embedded, somebody called me Tony. We’ve got a bone to pick.”
Holloway could also go on to rematch Conor McGregor, as the 27-year-old would like to prove himself against all those who beat him in the past.
“As a competitor, I have three losses,” Holloway said. “So I want to get them all three back, but that’s just me. I want to fight everyone, whoever. As a competitor, I’ll fight whoever. If you tell me some guy is the best, let’s do it. Is this the best guy? I’m gonna fight you then. Put your dukes up, let’s trade blows.”