There's a fresh new face at the top of the UFC's 145-pound mountain, and his name is Max "Blessed" Holloway.
Holloway won the interim featherweight championship against Anthony Pettis earlier this year at UFC 206 and punched his ticket to a guaranteed undisputed title fight against Jose Aldo. That match came to fruition earlier this month, as the pair collided in the main event of UFC 212 from "Scarface's" backyard of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
Although Aldo gave the Hawaiian all he could handle in the opening rounds, Holloway rallied back with a powerful 1-2 combo that sent the Brazilian down to the mat, and "Blessed" finished things off with some devastating ground-and-pound that forced the ref to wave things off. Holloway became the third ever man to hold the UFC's featherweight title, and he doesn't plan on letting go of it for a long time.
Having essentially beaten down nearly all top contenders at 145 pounds, there is very little competition left for Holloway to make his first title defense against. One man that remains is none other than former two-time featherweight title challenger Frankie Edgar, who has been calling Holloway out to dance inside the Octagon as of late.
Despite having been choked out by Holloway a few years ago, featherweight veteran Cub Swanson has also been pleading his case to get the first crack at the new champ as well. "Blessed" got the chance to respond to these claims on a recent episode of the Fight Society Podcast, and he's fine fighting anyone who's ready to step up the plate (quotes via FOX Sports):
“If I didn’t fight you, get ready,” Holloway told the Fight Society podcast. “Cause what you’re seeing is not what you’re getting. Everybody looking from the outside into the cage, they think they can do this, this and this.
"When they step in there it’s a different thing with me. So if I didn’t fight you yet, make sure you cover all your bases cause I’m coming.
“And if I did fight you already, like I told [Cub Swanson] when he was interviewing me after my fight — you’re going to get it again. Get ready to get it again.”
“Anybody and everybody’s going to get it,” Holloway promised. “I’m not racing through my division. I’m cleaning it out. So if you want two L’s, you’re going to get two L’s and if you’re looking for one, come fight “Blessed”.”
“I’m not even scratching the surface yet,” Holloway said. “You guys didn’t get to see my ground. You guys didn’t get to see me do too much but strike. I just love striking. I’ve just been able to do one part of my game for a while and I’m killing it and I’m doing it well.
“You guys don’t get to see the next part. It’s an evolution.”
What are your thoughts on Holloway's response to Edgar and Swanson's recent call outs? Have your say in the comments section below!
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms