As an avid fan of mixed martial arts, it’s hard not to admire the skill and determination of former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway. With a career that has spanned nearly a decade in the octagon, the 31-year-old Hawaiian has consistently proven himself as one of the best fighters in the lighter weight classes. However, recent interviews reveal that Holloway may be tempted to move up to the lightweight division, seeking new challenges and opportunities to cement his status as an all-time great.
Holloway’s UFC debut in 2012 against Dustin Poirier was actually at lightweight before he later dropped down to featherweight. Coincidentally, his rematch with Poirier in April 2019 marked his return to lightweight as he aimed to claim interim gold while still holding the undisputed featherweight title. Despite a valiant effort, Holloway fell short in a thrilling Fight of the Year contender, and he has not competed in the lightweight division since. After suffering a third career loss to the reigning featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in 2020, the temptation to move up in weight remains strong for Holloway.
In a recent interview with ESPN, Holloway acknowledged the allure of the lightweight division, stating, “For sure [lightweight was tempting]. For this next fight, no, but it’s always tempting to go there. You got killers up there and those fights excite me. We just see what happens. It’s always great to go up a weight class when you got a belt around your waist so we’ll see what happens. Never say never. We’ll see what cards we get and we’ll go from there.”
Holloway’s recent performances against Calvin Kattar and Yair Rodriguez showcased his undeniable talent and improved skill set. However, despite these impressive victories, he has not been able to reclaim the featherweight title from Volkanovski, who has defeated him in their trilogy bout. Nevertheless, Holloway still sees a path to a fourth fight with Volkanovski, and he believes that the UFC’s willingness to grant him that opportunity indicates that a move to lightweight may not be imminent.
“If they didn’t believe that I would get a fourth fight [with Volkanovski], I think they would have probably forced my hand to go to 155 much more sooner,” Holloway stated. “We’ll see what happens. If he (Volkanovski) beats Yair, who’s after this? If I go out there and put a statement on Arnold, who’s after this? Put names in front of me. Yair is in front of me because he has the interim title belt but in  we just had a fight and it was a great one, but you know who came out on top.”Holloway
Holloway’s upcoming headliner against Arnold Allen, an undefeated fighter with a 10-fight win streak, will be only his third non-title fight since becoming the interim featherweight champion in 2016. Allen poses a formidable challenge, and Holloway acknowledges his skills, stating, “I think he’s good…anybody who’s sharing the octagon with me at this point in my career, they gotta be great.” Holloway is looking forward to the fight and is determined to continue showcasing his talents.
It’s clear that Max Holloway’s desire to be the best transcends weight classes. Despite the temptations of the lightweight division, he remains focused on his upcoming fight against Allen and the potential for a fourth bout with Volkanovski. Only time will tell what Holloway’s future holds, but one thing is certain: he is willing