Featherweight champion Max Holloway is anxiously awaiting word from the UFC on a new opponent after Frankie Edgar was forced out of their fight due to injury.
Holloway was supposed to face Edgar in his first title defense at UFC 218 Fight Card and Start Times until the former lightweight champion was forced out of the event earlier this week.
That left the king of the featherweights without an opponent, but Holloway is determined to fight at UFC 218 against anybody the promotion throws at him.
Holloway’s manager, Brian Butler of Suckerpunch Entertainment, called out several names of interest for the featherweight champion, but also added that he’ll face anybody the UFC deems worthy of facing him on Dec. 2.
“When you become the champ the right way, the division is cleaned out,” Butler wrote on Instagram. “Choices are limited, but we’ll fight anyone. Cub [Swanson], [Brian] Ortega, [Tony] Ferguson, Conor [McGregor]— we’re just waiting on the call.”
When you become the champ the right way, the division is cleaned out… Choices are limited but we’ll fight anyone. Cub, Ortega, Ferguson, Conor… we’re just waiting on the call. Respect to @frankieedgar who truly deserved this fight and wishing him a speedy recovery. #blessedera #ufc218 #represented #Repost @blessedmma ・・・ Injuries are part of this fight game. Frankies the man. Wish him a speedy recovery. Detroit, you guys are a bunch of tough mfers. I met many of you last month when we visited. You guys deserve the best fight card of the year and youre still gonna get it. I'm fighting no matter what. Santa is still coming early to Detroit, so get ready. Malice in the palace part 2 if we have to. I'll see you soon.
Swanson and Ortega would appear to be the two most likely candidates considering they were already scheduled to meet in a five-round fight a week after UFC 218 takes place. Unfortunately, pulling either one of them would mean the UFC Fight Night card in Fresno would then need a new main event as well.
Add to that, Swanson is on the final fight of his current contract with the UFC, which means he’d have to negotiate a new deal before potentially facing off with Holloway in Detroit.
The list of featherweight contenders currently available is rather short considering Holloway is riding an 11-fight win streak with wins over numerous competitors currently ranked in the top 15.
Of course, Holloway’s manager also mentioned interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson and current lightweight champion Conor McGregor as well, not only because the Hawaiian is willing to face them, but as further proof that he’s ready to face anybody the UFC throws at him.
As of now, no decision has been made regarding the replacement opponent to face Holloway in three weeks time at UFC 218.