Exclusive Interview with Max Holloway | UFC 236 | Talks about Conor McGregor's retirement, Tony Ferguson's mental health issues and more
Max Holloway is on an undefeated streak of 13 fights, and he is looking to extend that further, by picking up another win in the near future. He is facing Dustin 'Diamond' Poirier at Lightweight, to see if he can pick up the Interim Lightweight Championship.
Prior to his fight, were able to catch up with him and ask him a few questions.
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Q. If you win this fight, technically, you will be a Double Champion with the Interim Title as well as the Featherweight Title. What does that feel like?
MH: I would be the first champ - I - champ and nobody could take that away from me. There’s three Champ Champ’s already, so I would be the first Champ – I – Champ.
Q. What’s your preparation like for when you face Dustin Poirier?
MH: It’s another fight, every single fight, I am 0-0, I am 0-0 and that’s what keeps me on the edge of my game and that is the thing that keeps me going. The gameplan does not change, it’s only the opponents. We go out there and do our thing and I get to show once again and take one more step in the right direction of being the pound for pound best fighter in the world.
Q. Are you more comfortable now in Lightweight than when you were in Featherweight?
MH: I feel great. I feel good at 45 too. The last fight at 45 I felt great, weight cut was great and at 55 I can have more cupcakes.
Q. Your win over Brian Ortega was extremely impressive, what did that feel like?
MH: It is what it is you know, a lot of people just need to get my age right. People keep calling me an old vet but I am a young boy. When we stepped in there we were both 27, and I turned 27 during that fight week, he turned 27 earlier in the year. It is what it is, nothing taken away, I wanted to show the world. Everyone kept saying he was one of the best in the world, everyone kept talking about his run, he was undefeated, I got to go in there and show people who I was.
Q. What’s your take on Conor McGregor’s recent announcement of retirement?
MH: Like you say he is retired. I am not going to poke an old man out of retiring. I think he is going to enjoy retirement, because you know during retirement people like to bring up old stuff. Sounds like he is really retired to me but if he comes back, he comes back. I am not holding my breath over anything. I’ve got a legacy to build, I’ve got an end game to end how I want it to. I am not stopping until I get there. If he so happens to come back and try and get in the way then we will meet again.
Q. You almost were supposed to face Tony Ferguson. Given the news of Tony’s personal life which has come to light, what’s your take on it?
MH: You know I talked about it in my last fight, I had to deal with some depression for sure, and I didn’t know about it until I went through that year. I had a rough end to the year. I wish nothing but the best for Tony, he’s a family man like me. From one father to another, I just hope he’s okay and can figure it out. A lot of people were saying Tony was scared to take the fight.
Tony is a tough guy, he is not scared to take any fight. No one in the UFC is scared to take a fight against anyone, let’s be honest. People just look at us as fighters but we are human beings and we go through the same personal issues as everyone else. I hope he figures it out, it is not how you start the race it’s how you finish.