On less than a week’s notice, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway has agreed to fight top lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223, and according to the man himself he had no qualms about agreeing to put his long unbeaten run on the line in such a risky match-up.
“My manager called me. He said, ‘Tony’s hurt’ and ‘they want you and Khabib,'” Holloway told KHON News. “I was like…how do you turn down an opportunity like this? Opportunities like this come once in a lifetime and there was really only one guy was able to do it. I’m glad to be the second guy and I’m going to go out there and make history.”
Despite moving up to lightweight for this encounter, Holloway has also made it clear he still intends to return to his own division afterwards.
“I’m here to fight man. I’m not a matchmaker. I’ve got business to handle at 145. But I said, when the UFC call, I’m only one call away. They called the right guy. I’m here, six days’ notice — April 7 is going to be a great night.”
However, first things first and he’s now got his sights firmly set on Nurmagomedov. However, despite many fighters appearing to go actively out of their way not to fight the undefeated ‘Eagle’, Holloway seems eager to see how he fares against him in the Octagon.
“You know what they say, ‘to beat the best you’ve got to be the best’, and the best is Blessed, baby. I can’t wait. This guy’s one of the most feared guys, I don’t know why. We’re all fighters, we all train. He’s human, I’m human and we get to go out there and see who is better.”