Max Holloway may be the reigning and defending featherweight champion but when he received word that Frankie Edgar was injured and out of their fight at UFC 218, he was ready to face whoever the promotion could throw at him.
Now logic said that either Cub Swanson or former champion Jose Aldo would make the best choice, but both had fights already lined up and there was no guarantee the UFC would pull them to face Holloway instead.
Ultimately, the UFC opted to give Aldo a rematch with Holloway but the 25-year old Hawaiian champion was more than ready for anybody that was willing to step in as a replacement.
While no names were ever revealed, rumors swirled that former title contender Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone was one person mentioned and Holloway’s manager even said he was willing to face interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson if that’s what the UFC offered him.
“I was super willing,” Holloway told MMAWeekly when asked about facing a lightweight opponent at UFC 218. “Money talks. I’m a fighter. S–t, I was saying whatever, I didn’t even care. I promised the people of Hawaii, I promised the people of Detroit that they’re going to see Max Holloway fight Dec. 2. I promised my fans, my family. I promised you guys.
“I’m going to fight no matter what.”
As much as Holloway wants to defend his featherweight championship, he’s ultimately looking to become the top pound-for-pound fighter in the sport and that title comes along the willingness to face all challenges, big or small.
“People want to be called the best in the world — the best in the world is not getting ready for one guy,” Holloway said.
“I was ready to fight. I was ready to fight anyone. My manager told me about 155 [pound] fights and we was ready to go up if we had to, but it is what it is. I got blessed with Jose. I get to prove to everybody why I’m the best in the world and Dec. 2 is going to be a fun night.”