The number five ranked featherweight in the UFC, Max Holloway, is set to make his main event debut against number seven ranked Charles Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 74 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan this Sunday evening.
At just 23 years of age, Holloway isn’t set on the numbers game when it comes to rankings. In fact, he has a statement that he holds true to his heart — if he is not the man with the belt then he and everyone else in the division are sitting in second place.
“Yeah, you know it really doesn’t bother me, you know I’ve said it before I’ll say it again, we are all second place to the guy with the belt you know that’s all I want to be, that man,” Holloway told MMASucka.com. “So I don’t care if I was number 15, I don’t care if I was ranked number one, if you don’t have the gold belt around your waist then it doesn’t matter.”
This will be the first time the Hawaiian walks out to the Octagon at the end of the evening in the main event slot. When he got the phone call from UFC brass giving him the news, he was stoked but scared, at the same time.
“You know, it’s kind of surreal, I was tripping out that it’s going to be the first main event, not only that, but the first time in Saskatoon, so to be headlining a new place where UFC is going it’s frightening, you know? It’s kind of unbelievable, I would say I didn’t believe it at first but I got the papers to say it’s official and I signed and I was like, ‘damn, I’m main event’.”
Holloway is riding an impressive six-fight winning streak, with his counter-part, Oliveira, coming in with four wins in a row under his belt.
“Blessed” knows that “Do Bronx” is a submission ace, not just in the top position, but off his back as well and the game-planning is set to counter everything Oliveira throws at him.
“Dangerous, you know, he’s savy,” Holloway stated. “He’s a savage, he doesn’t mess around, that’s nothing new but you know his standup’s been coming up too so you know he’s dangerous everywhere. I just got to be smart, stick to my gameplan, get out there and do what I do best, and that’s fight. I just can’t wait to mix it up with him, he’s a young lion and I’m a young lion and there’s gonna be fireworks.
“You know we’ll see if it happens, I can’t really say, we’ll wait and see what happens August 23. We’ve been coming up with great gameplans and I’m sticking to them great so I don’t see changing, you know, we got something special for this one and I can’t wait to show the world.”
In an interview with MMAFighting.com, Oliveira’s manager, Ericson Cardozo, stated that he feels with a win over Holloway, the Brazilian should be granted a title shot. Holloway doesn’t care about that; he knows Frankie Edgar is ‘right there’ for a shot at the gold, but the winner of the UFC Fight Night 74 main event is very close as well.
Holloway ran through five tough opponents and battered the current number six ranked featherweight Cub Swanson en route to a submission victory in his last outing. If victorious in Saskatoon, it will be seven in a row for Holloway, which would be very tough to pass up when it comes to a title shot.
However, with Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor going down later this year at UFC 194, The man who fought four times in 2014 and has already been inside the Octagon twice in 2015 would have a hard time staying inactive, waiting for the winner of that bout.
“Probably not, I’d have to sit down with my coaches and talk about it. I like to fight and I’m a fighter, that’s the only way I make my money. I got to go out there and make my money and my living so we just have to see how it plays out.”
Check out the full interview on last week’s episode of Sucka Radio.