After missing out on a short-notice opportunity to fight for the lightweight title against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 on Saturday night due to a tough weight cut, featherweight champion Max Holloway is now looking to put that behind him and line-up his next title defense.
“Dana called me on fight day and told me, ‘It’s alright, kid, we tried’ and ‘thank you for trying everything’ and ‘onto the next one,'” Holloway said on ‘The MMA Hour’ show yesterday. “So Brian Ortega is up, hopefully we can get on that July card.”
With that being said, Holloway also indicates that he would like to face Nurmagomedov at some stage in the future.
“I’ve been asking. I see everyone talking about that July card. I’ve got to get back business at 145, but if UFC call again for 155 for that thing with Khabib, that would be fun.”
For now though, Ortega is foremost in his mind, and in an ideal world he wants to return to New York to face him.
“Dana said it was the best shot, he said that I have business to handle with Ortega. He didn’t say a date, but hopefully it’s July. I want to fight in July so I can go back to New York and try this one more time.
“Madison Square Garden, we’ve got to try this one more time, that’s what I want to do. Fans are talking about it, I hear you guys want this fight a lot and they were tweeting me right after I got pulled. A lot of guys were saying, ‘Let’s see that fight [Holloway vs. Ortega] back on UFC 226.
“Let’s do it then. I want to fight and I want to go out there to show everyone who ‘Blessed’ is.”
UFc 226 currently only has one fight booked, and it’s a big one, with lightweight champion Daniel Cormier set to move up to challenge heavyweight kingpin Stipe Miocic for his title in the main event of the evening in Las Vegas.