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Max Holloway Open to Featherweight Return, Eyes Title Clash with Ilia Topuria

Max Holloway still wants Topuria fight
Max Holloway (left), Ilia Topuria (right)

Max Holloway, the former UFC featherweight champion, is not ruling out a return to his original weight class, especially if a title fight against the "questionable" Ilia Topuria materializes.

Holloway, known for his remarkable performances in the featherweight division, is venturing into the lightweight realm this Saturday to face Justin Gaethje for the BMF title at UFC 300's main card. This move marks Holloway's second venture into the 155-pound division, with his previous attempt against Dustin Poirier ending in a loss for the interim lightweight title five years ago.

Despite his foray into lightweight, Holloway remains non-committal about his weight class future, emphasizing the importance of keeping his options open in a dynamic sport like MMA.

"At the end of the day, UFC, I always want to fight for that title," Holloway expressed during Wednesday's media day. "I always want to do this. A lot of contenders they gave me. They gave me a lot of up-and-coming contenders, and there’s one that didn’t come up toward my way. You can ask UFC about that. You can ask him the question."

The Hawaiian fighter's attention is particularly drawn to Ilia Topuria, the current featherweight champion, whom Holloway views with skepticism due to Topuria's alleged reluctance to face him.

"Questionable, I’d say," Holloway remarked when discussing Topuria. "Questionable. That guy, everyone keeps asking me what do I think of Topuria – and I think he’s questionable."

Despite the uncertainties, Holloway remains intrigued by the prospect of challenging for the featherweight title again, especially if it means facing Topuria in the Octagon. He advises Topuria to seize the opportunity and not shy away from signing the contract.

“We’ll see what happens,” Holloway stated, emphasizing his focus on Gaethje in the immediate future. "In this sport, having options is always good. First thing first is Justin Gaethje. But there is a fun fight down there, and that man keeps talking, and I keep hearing him. My only advice to (Topuria) is when the contract comes up, sign the dotted line. Don’t make any excuses."

Holloway's willingness to entertain a potential featherweight clash with Topuria adds an intriguing dimension to the UFC's future matchups, highlighting the dynamic nature of the sport and Holloway's enduring competitiveness.


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