The long-anticipated main event at UFC 231 will feature Max Holloway defending the featherweight championship against undefeated phenom Brian Ortega. Ortega’s 14-0 record (6-0 UFC) is one of the most riveting aspects of the featherweight showdown, but if you ask the defending champion Max Holloway, Brian Ortega is not the only undefeated fighter who will be taking part in Saturday’s main event.
“Everybody keeps saying this is going to be one of the hardest fights for me, and I believe. I believe every fight is hard,” Holloway said on “The MMA Hour” on Monday. “Everybody keeps saying this guy is undefeated and this and that, 14-0. I’m 0-0 every fight. I’m undefeated. He’s fighting an undefeated fighter too. But at the end of the day, my favorite thing to do is when people say, ‘Oh, this guy’s going to do this to me. This guy’s going to do this to me.’ I go out there and I show what’s really up, and then they’re like, ‘Damn, okay, maybe not.’ I like making people question themselves, so Saturday night, just tune in.”
Holloway’s lack of reverence for paper records does not prevent him from appreciating and fully acknowledging the skill set and challenge Brian Ortega will present to him in the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada.
“The man is dangerous,” Holloway continued. “He’s just a dangerous guy all around. He showed that he can knock you out with a punch, with a kick, with a knee. He showed that if you give him something, he’s going to try to take it home with him. And he also showed that he’s got a chin on him. That Mexican blood in him is crazy. It’s going to be a crazy fight. Mexicans and Hawaiians, we’re born fighters. But it’s going to be crazy and amazing, and I just can’t wait to [fight]. This is one of those guys. This is a fight where everybody keeps talking about, ‘Man, I wish these guys could fight this guy, or blah, blah.’”
Though Max Holloway was unable to make it to their first scheduled bout at UFC 226 due health complications that remain a mystery to this day, the champion insists that the fans will finally get what they want come Saturday night:
“Here it is, two young guys, and for the fight that matters most, for a belt, for a champion, for a world championship fight. So I can’t wait to do it, man. I just can’t wait to go out there. And this fight excites me because this is one of those guys that, when it’s all said and done, they look at my career and they look at the list, and they’re like, ‘Damn, who did this guy not fight?’ That’s just what I want to be. I want to be the best ever.”
What are your thoughts on these comments from Max Holloway ahead of UFC 231?