SK chats with UFC 226 stars Max Holloway & Brian Ortega
International Fight Week is upon us and with that comes one of the most stacked cards of the year - UFC 226. It'll go down this Saturday night in Las Vegas, Nevada and it'll feature some of the biggest and baddest names on the UFC roster today. We here at Sportskeeda were lucky enough to be on the media conference call for the event, getting the chance to speak with the two fighters scheduled to battle it out for the Featherweight Championship: Max Holloway and Brian Ortega.
SK: Max people refer to you as someone who can carry the featherweight division for years to come. For you personally what’s more important, to have a resume of big names that you have defeated like, Aldo and potentially Ortega. Or is it more important to be able to say that you’ve helped to grow the prestige of the featherweight championship?
Max Holloway: Ya know, my man DC said it perfect. It’s a legacy thing and when it’s all said and done I want to leave a legacy in whatever way. If not if it’s helping the division if it’s fighting big names I just want to be remembered one of the greatest all-time to ever do this in the sport. That’s just what I want to do. I make – I sacrifice a lot of time away from my family, away from my son and I just want to make them proud, make my family proud and my fans crowd and, you know, leave a legacy.
SK: And you mentioned that obviously, your last full fight followed the same pattern as you fought in June and in December over the last two years. Do you want to continue with that trend or do you get restless when you go that long without being at The Octagon?
Max Holloway: I love fighting. I just love fighting. This is what I think I was put on earth to do, is to fight. So the more fights the better but the UFC got to be smart with the ways they use certain guys and use certain fighters. If they want me to fight more often I’ll fight more often. If they want me to stay on the schedule then I’ll stay on the schedule. It doesn’t matter to me.
SK: Brian your work outside of The Octagon has been well documented. In the lead up to this fight how much time have you been able to donate to the Brian Ortega Foundation in comparison to your usual day-to-day life when you’re not in camp?
Brian Ortega: I mean honestly I prefer to not be in the camp that way I have more time. This time we were able to have hospital visits and we went and visited the kids over there and hung out with them and just kind of shined some light on their day. They’ve been sick in the hospital all day. After that, we went to the beach and we had a surf experience day and we took all the kids out surfing man, had a great time with them.
All the kids with cystic fibrosis, we took them out there and they surfed with the pros and surfed with guys like myself and everything and then just watched them have a good beach day and that was it. But, you know, only two events really happened during this training camp just because I have to buckle down and really see past my opponent and not see past myself and get comfortable. I really got to go in there, work hard, train hard and once I do my work next week then I can go back to doing what I do.
SK: And you spoke during a recent interview about gradually becoming more comfortable dealing with the media and interviews. Do you find yourself enjoying every aspect of having a bigger profile or do you prefer it more when you were kind of a dark horse?
Brian Ortega: I like the dark horse era better. You know I like to go unknown.