Max Holloway recently unified the UFC featherweight title, besting Jose Aldo at UFC 212 in June. Now, his first title defense is taking shape.
UFC president Dana White told Hawaiian TV station KHON2 that Holloway is expected to put his belt on the line against former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. MMAWeekly.com sources confirmed that the fight has been agreed to, but also noted that Holloway is still negotiating a new deal with the UFC, which is holding up the fight’s finalization.
Though the details are still in flux, White expects that Holloway and Edgar will meet before the end of the year.
One other thing he was definitive about: the fight will not take place in Hawaii. While Holloway and other Hawaiian fighters, as well as a plethora of Hawaiian fight fans, have been lobbying for a UFC event in the U.S.’s youngest state, White doesn’t see a viable venue.
“If Hawaii had an arena, we’d have been there already,” said White.
The problem is that any card in Hawaii would be a costly endeavor and the only venue that is large enough is Aloha Stadium, which is outside. With the likelihood of rain, the UFC won’t risk a significant event there.
So Hawaiians will have to settle for Holloway defending his belt elsewhere for the near term, including the expected upcoming bout with Edgar.
Holloway (18-3) has been golden over the past few years, notching 11 consecutive victories since losing a decision to Conor McGregor in 2013. He has finished all but three of those opponents, including a spectacular third-round stoppage of Aldo.
Edgar (22-5-1) has also been impressive in recent years, defeating everyone put in front of him that wasn’t named Jose Aldo. Though he dropped a decision to the former champion as recently as last year, Edgar has since won back-to-back bouts against Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez, forcing his way back into the title mix.
(Damon Martin contributed to this article.)