Saturday, November 26, 2022

Al Iaquinta: Holloway Has Earned Lightweight Opportunity

Al Iaquinta is one of the more outspoken fighters on the UFC roster, and will make his thoughts known whenever he takes issue with something or someone, especially when it comes to the decision-making of the UFC. Some might expect many in the lightweight division, including Iaquinta, to be upset that Max Holloway, who has never competed at lightweight before, will earn an interim title shot in his first fight in the division. But in this case, the candid Iaquinta believes Holloway has earned the opportunity (transcription via Bloody Elbow):

“Every person with a title is chasing another title — up or down — and they’re not defending their titles,” Iaquinta told Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “Conor (McGregor) is really to blame a lot of it for — I mean, good for him, he did it, but he never defended a title.”

“Max, on the other hand — I can kind of see a little more validation for him either going up or down,” Iaquinta said. “He has really put on a clinic at his weight class. He’s basically beat the majority of the guys who would be fighting for a title at 145, so go up to 155 and let the 145 division play out. With the way he’s handled himself as a champion, I think he’s earned the right to go up if he wants to.”

Max Holloway will be taking on Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight championship at UFC 236. Al Iaquinta has been linked to a fight against Donald Cerrone, but that bout is not yet official.

Do you agree with Al Iaquinta? Did Max Holloway earn to move up and fight for the interim lightweight championship?