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After UFC 231 win, Max Holloway open to lightweight move as Dana White recommends

MMAJunkie logo MMAJunkie 12/9/2018 Steven Marrocco and John Morgan

Max Holloway holding a microphone: Getty © Getty Getty TORONTO - Max Holloway is at his competitive peak as the UFC featherweight champion.

But after a dominant win over Brian Ortega on Saturday at UFC 231, Holloway is willing to make a move to lightweight after hearing that UFC President Dana White doesn't want him to cut to 145 pounds again.

"The boss is looking for superfights," Holloway told reporters at Scotiabank Arena after stopping Ortega in the fourth round of Saturday's pay-per-view.

As of now, Holloway is keeping his options open as far as opponents and specifics about his trip to the heavier division. Although he sounded resolved to defending his belt than chasing gold in other divisions, he said he'd meet with White to determine his next steps.

But by the time he got backstage, one opponent's name already had surfaced: former interim 155-pound champ Tony Ferguson, who's could be next to face current lightweight champ Khabib Nurmagomedov.

Holloway joked that he had a bone to pick with Ferguson after getting mistaken for him while in Toronto.

"Everybody talks about the top three guys," Holloway said of potential lightweight challengers. "Everybody wants to see me and Conor (McGregor) because we fought when I was a kid."

Indeed, McGregor handed Holloway his last loss five years ago. But the Irish star also is facing a suspension for his role in a melee at UFC 229, as is Nurmagomedov.

Holloway said he isn't picky about who's next.

"I keep hearing the name Conor, Khabib," Holloway said. "At the end of the day, they've got something to figure out. Hopefully, they can figure it out. I wish the best of luck to them, and we can sit down with Dana and figure it out."

After watching Holloway demolish the undefeated Ortega, White essentially said the champ should quit while he's ahead, moving to a division that doesn't tax him so much physically.

"I think that the guy's on 27 going on 28, he's in the prime of his life, never looked better, continues to improve with every single fight, and I think he's done everything he can do at 145," White said. "Why keep cutting that weight, and I think there's some big things for him at 155."

White said the entire top-five of the 155-pound class is a potentially explosive matchup for Holloway.

Ortega was billed as the toughest challenge of the featherweight champ's reign. That didn't turn out to be the case, and now Holloway is asking who's next.

"I've got this niche, I guess," he said. "I just gave an undefeated fighter his first loss. I ain't picky. Feed me. They all can get it."

For complete coverage of UFC 231, check out the UFC Events section of the site.


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