Category Archives: Max Holloway

Manager: Conor McGregor wants Nate Diaz trilogy, but Ferguson, Lee, Khabib and Holloway options

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LAS VEGAS – Conor McGregor won’t be taking a departure from the combat sports scene following his loss to Floyd Mayweather in “The Money Fight” on Saturday.

McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC, 0-1 boxing), who suffered a 10th-round TKO loss to Mayweather (50-0 boxing) in the pay-per-view headliner at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, earned a guaranteed $30 million payday. That amount of money (with more on the way) led some to believe he would vanish from fighting. But his manager, Audie Attar, said that’s far from the case.

Although McGregor said he was undecided about having his next fight in boxing or MMA during “The Money Fight” post-fight news conference, Attar alluded to the likelihood of the UFC lightweight champion returning to the octagon to defend his belt next.

Who will he fight, though? A trilogy with Nate Diaz (19-11 MMA, 14-9 UFC) is one possibility, as is a showdown with the winner of October’s interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) and Kevin Lee (16-2 MMA, 9-2 UFC) at UFC 216. Top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) is also an option; the same can be said for a rematch with UFC featherweight titleholder Max Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC).

The world is essentially McGregor’s oyster, and Attar said that’s a good problem to have.

“He wants that trilogy (with Diaz),” Attar told MMAjunkie. “You’ve got Khabib calling him out, then you obviously have Tony Ferguson and Kevin Lee who are fighting for the interim lightweight title. You have Max Holloway, who is the 145 champ now, who Conor beat after blowing out his ACL at the beginning of the fight. You have options, and he loves mixed martial arts.

“Everyone is like, ‘Oh, he’s going to retire – he made so much money.’ He’s ambitious. He’s super ambitious, and he loves to fight. He loves to compete and he’s a superb professional athlete. So there’s much more of Conor McGregor that everybody will see, and we’ll see what’s next.”

Despite the contest not going his way, Attar said the entire experience of the Mayweather fight was genuinely special. The ultimate goal was victory, but considering McGregor probably shouldn’t have even been in the ring with Mayweather, let alone take a few rounds from the future boxing Hall of Famer, Attar said there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

“We proved the naysayers wrong in more than one way,” Attar said. “Whether it was to step in the ring against Floyd Mayweather in a boxing match or whether it was to land punches, or whether it was to go as far as we did … Ultimately, look – we felt it was an early stoppage. But nonetheless, hat goes off to Floyd – it was his night. You’re going up against arguably the greatest boxer of our generation, in his sport. I’m proud of Conor.”

Attar said McGregor is nowhere near content with the result, though.

“He’s so critical of himself,” Attar said. “He’s already watching film and dissecting his performance and what went wrong and it really reminded me of (the first) Diaz fight. You saw him there, humble in defeat, retool, learn, grew, came back in the rematch and looked like a different fighter. It kind of had that feeling. Bittersweet, but nonetheless I’m super happy for him.”

McGregor’s immediate plans after the Mayweather fight included indulging in a bottle of his new brand of Irish whiskey. The when and wheres of his future beyond that are uncertain, but Attar said he’s going to do his best to ensure McGregor gets exactly what he wants.

“It’s whatever makes him happy,” Attar said. “Every client has his own goals, but I know he has some very bold ambitions and I’m excited to be a part of that and help him realize his dreams as I do with all my clients. You want each client to realize their own dreams.”

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Champ Max Holloway responds to Conor McGregor on 4-year anniversary of fight

Conor McGregor may still consider himself a two-division UFC champion, but current featherweight titleholder Max Holloway not surprisingly has a different opinion.

“I mean, how can I not consider myself the UFC featherweight world champion and the UFC lightweight world champion?” McGregor said Wednesday during a conference call. “The current champion is Max Holloway, a man I dismantled. And the former was Jose Aldo. I still reign supreme over that division.”

McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC), who meets Floyd Mayweather (49-0 boxing) in an anticipated boxing match on Aug. 26, defeated Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) by unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 26 in August 2013. “Blessed” has won 11 consecutive fights since, including a title-winning TKO of Aldo in June.

McGregor, the UFC lightweight champ, never lost the belt now in Holloway’s possession, but rather was stripped because of his inability to defend within an appropriate timeframe after he won the 155-pound title and was presumably going to focus on that division.

Holloway caught wind of the comments made by McGregor, and he fired back with the some thoughts of his own (via Twitter):

Although McGregor claims he will eventually return to the octagon to defend his “multiple” titles, the Irishman’s attention is currently locked in his pay-per-view showdown with Mayweather, which takes place T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Holloway, meanwhile, is expected have a title defense against ex-UFC champ Frankie Edgar scheduled for later this year. The Hawaiian has previously stated he doesn’t expect McGregor to return to the UFC following his bout with Mayweather.

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Conor McGregor '100 percent' still considers himself both UFC lightweight, featherweight champ

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC

Conor McGregor’s message to the UFC is still “you’re fooling nobody.”

Although the UFC lightweight champion hasn’t appeared in the octagon since last November and has never defended either of the two tiles he’s won, McGregor said he “100 percent” considers himself the champion of both divisions.

“I mean, how can I not consider myself the UFC featherweight world champion and the UFC lightweight world champion?” McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) said Wednesday during a conference call promoting his foray into boxing against Floyd Mayweather (49-0 boxing) on Aug. 26 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

When it comes to his status in the UFC, McGregor’s reasoning is simple: He owns the 155-pound title and has beat the guy holding the 145-pound belt.

“The current UFC (featherweight) champion is Max Holloway, a man I dismantled. And the former was Jose Aldo. I still reign supreme over that division. And then also the 155-pound division. I know there’s talk of an interim belt. I won that belt and literally one month later there was an interim scheduled.

“But it is what it is. Everyone knows I am the multiple world champion of the UFC featherweight division and lightweight division. I look forward to coming back and continuing where I left off.”

As McGregor’s boxing conquest draws nearer, the UFC plans to crown a new interim lightweight champion after an ill-fated attempt earlier this year. Tony Ferguson will get his second shot at gold when he faces Kevin Lee at UFC 216, which takes place Oct. 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

Ferguson was scheduled to fight for the interim belt in March at UFC 209, but opponent Khabib Nurmagomedov was forced to withdraw the day before after being hospitalized due to a bad weight cut. Ferguson and Nurmagomedov both have tried to talk their way into a fight with McGregor, no doubt seeking the lightweight title and a lucrative payout with the UFC’s biggest draw.

McGregor is expected to take home at least $75 million for his boxing match with Mayweather, who on Tuesday said he’ll make a staggering $350 million if the event sells as planned.

Holloway isn’t pining for McGregor’s return. In fact, he thinks the Irish champ won’t ever fight MMA again after making such a huge payday against Mayweather. A title defense against ex-lightweight champ Frankie Edgar is likely next on Holloway’s list.

So, the 145-pound and 155-pound classes are moving on in McGregor’s wake. He left quite a stamp on both.

For more on “The Money Fight: Floyd Mayweather vs. Conor McGregor,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Ex-champ Jose Aldo wants to be back by November, sees Cub Swanson as possibility

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Almost two months after his title-costing loss to Max Holloway at UFC 212, former featherweight kingpin Jose Aldo already has a desired timeframe for his octagon return.

In what was only the second loss of his UFC tenure, Aldo (26-3 MMA, 8-2 UFC) succumbed to a third-round TKO by the hands of Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) in a title-unifying headliner in front of his home crowd of Rio de Janeiro. While Aldo was visibly distraught as he left the octagon, he went on to issue a forward-looking statement vowing to be back shortly after.

This past Friday, speaking to Combate.com in Rio, Aldo said he wants that to happen before November. And he thinks a former foe, whom he defeated via flying knee in the now-defunct WEC more than eight years ago, could be it.

“I asked to fight again until November, tops, because in the past few years I’ve gone a long time without fighting and I think that hindered me a lot,” Aldo said. “But we’re already talking to them so that we can return until November. I think we will go by the rankings.

“I think Cub (Swanson) is a great opponent that we can meet now in order to get back on a winning path.”

Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC), who’s currently riding a four-fight streak, has been angling for a title shot of his own. But, though nothing has been officially booked yet, both Holloway’s manager and UFC president Dana White have indicated that ex-lightweight-champ Frankie Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) will most likely take on the current champ next.

Aldo is currently the No. 2 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, while Swanson sits at the No. 6 spot.

With an immediate rematch seemingly out of the picture, this will be Aldo’s first UFC fight with no title implications. A former WEC champ who also ended up being the UFC’s inaugural 145-pound champ, he defended his title seven times before the 13-second loss to current lightweight titleholder Conor McGregor at UFC 194.

His following fight, a rematch against Edgar at UFC 200, had the interim title on the line. After claiming that belt, and being restituted as undisputed champ after McGregor relinquished the 145-pound throne, he went on to lose to Holloway. Coming into a fight with less pressure, however, might just end up being a nice change of pace for both Aldo and the audience.

“I think it does take some of the weight – we can go in there and take risks, as usual,” Aldo said. “I’ve always respected every athlete, but now we get to be the ‘snipers’ (term used in soccer to refer to the team that has fewer expectations of winning and, therefore, less pressure) again. We get to do great, exciting fights, which I think is what the fans expect from me.”

While Holloway did bring up the heat in some of the lead-up for the match with Aldo, he kept a respectful attitude toward the longtime ex-champ both after the fight – going on to issue a heartfelt statement praising the Brazilian featherweight.

Of course Aldo isn’t exactly happy with the loss. But combine Holloway’s attitude with the fact that, unlike what happened with McGregor, he actually got to show some fight this time, Aldo seems to be somewhat at peace with the circumstances.

“It was very different,” Aldo said. “This time we got to fight, we got to show something. Max is a guy who earned the win, he has his merits, he credentialed himself. He came to Brazil, fought respectfully and won.

“To me, that’s a true athlete. I respect him and I’m glad the belt is in his hands. Of course, we’d still like to be champion, but we can accept that a great athlete took over.”

The 30-year-old athlete also dismissed the weight of age when it comes to the recent knockout results of a career that went undefeated for an entire decade – and which, before that, only showed a submission loss.

“The Conor fight was a knockout, but this last one wasn’t a knockout,” Aldo said. “(Holloway) connected a good shot, we absorbed it well, I took a beating for practically two minutes of the fight. Still, I didn’t go out. I talked to (referee) ‘Big’ John (McCarthy), saying that I was all right, but he didn’t think I was defending myself at the time and stopped the fight.

“But I think that’s part of it. There’s no way – you can be young or old, when the blow lands in the right place, there’s no way.”

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Manager on Max Holloway's 1st UFC title defense: 'It's probably going to be' Frankie Edgar

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Max Holloway’s first title defense as the undisputed UFC featherweight champion is likely to come against ex-lightweight champ Frankie Edgar, according to his longtime manager.

“We are in negotiations right now with Max and getting a new deal in place, and once that’s in place, we’ll be ready to commit,” Brian Butler told MMAjunkie Radio of a potential fight between Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) and Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC). “It’s looking like it’s probably going to be Frankie.”

Holloway and Butler met with the UFC earlier this month in Las Vegas to discuss a new contract. Holloway talked up a new deal that would bump up his salary after an impressive stoppage of now-former champ Jose Aldo at UFC 212, a victory that unified the 145-pound title after Holloway won an interim title this past December.

Of those talks, Butler said “things seemed to be moving in the right direction” but added, “we’re going to need more time.”

Holloway has won a staggering 11 straight fights in the octagon, not falling short since a 2013 decision setback to Conor McGregor, who held the featherweight title before he was stripped of it after winning the lightweight belt. That’s left the 25-year-old Hawaiian looking for greener pastures.

Butler said UFC President Dana White promised a better deal “a few fights back” when he renegotiated Holloway’s contract. Holloway loudly reminded White of that fact after stopping Aldo this past month.

“We didn’t get quite what we wanted then, but we kind of met in the middle,” Butler said. “Dana’s like, ‘Listen, guys, if Max goes out there and does his thing and wins the belt, we’ll be sitting back here at brunch having this meeting again, and we’re not going to fight this contract.’ So Max did everything he did, and I think he did it in stellar (fashion).”

Since Holloway’s title win, featherweight contenders have jockeyed to be Holloway’s first challenge. Edgar and top contender Cub Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC) both have stated their cases for being the No. 1 contender.

Edgar fell short in an interim title bout one year ago against Aldo but has rebounded with two straight wins and owns a submission win over Swanson, who’s won his past four since a submission loss to Holloway in 2015.

Edgar is the No. 3 fighter in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA featherweight rankings, while Swanson is No. 6. Holloway is No. 1 at 145 and No 8 on the pound-for-pound list.

Holloway is pushing hard to fight on home soil. So far, he’s been unsuccessful in getting the UFC to promote a fight in Hawaii, though Butler said the industry-leader’s hesitance isn’t for a lack of a desire to pop up its tent on the islands. The margins of doing business in Hawaii might be the greatest obstacle.

“If you had the opportunity to do it in Vegas, where you know you’re going to clear several million, or do it in Hawaii, where you’re not, what are you going to do?” Butler said.

Still, Butler feels confident an event will take place next year. He said Holloway’s stardom is now on par with Hawaiian MMA pioneer and UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn; a welcome home celebration after his title win drew 1,000 fans to Honolulu airport and a parade drew a line of people 17 miles long.

Any chance for local fans to see Holloway fight will be a big deal, Butler indicated. But now his priority is getting his client paid.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Source: MMA Junkie

Today in MMA history: Conor McGregor returns to Dublin as a first-time UFC headliner

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There were 9,500 tickets on offer to the UFC’s event in Dublin on July 19, 2014, and they all went fast. You see, there was this guy the locals were pretty excited about. A featherweight by the name of Conor McGregor. One of their own. They’d waited years to see him in the UFC, and now here he was, his third fight in, returning home as a first-time headliner to a packed house at The 02.

In some ways it feels like more than three years have passed since then. Maybe that’s because so much has changed.

For one, there’s McGregor himself. Before he was announced as the headliner of UFC Fight Night 46, he was telling anyone who would listen that he was guaranteed sellout material in his part of the world. Put him on a card shadowboxing and you’d fill The O2, he said.

As with much of his patter, at the time it seemed like he was just trying to be funny. Then a few years later he sold pay-per-views of his interviews and filled stadiums with his press conferences, and suddenly it seemed less jokey and more prescient.

That July night was his first trip past the prelims for the UFC. He made his debut on a Facebook stream the previous spring, polishing off Marcus Brimage in 67 seconds. Then that August he moved on up to the cable TV prelims of the very first UFC event to be broadcast on FOX Sports 1, which was a recently rebranded channel so new that many cable subscribers didn’t know if they’d be able to even see the fights in the weeks leading up to the event.

McGregor won a unanimous decision over future UFC featherweight champ Max Holloway that night, though at the time it was hard to see what great things either of them had waiting for them down the line. Just one of 13 fights on the night, and it came with nowhere near the hype bestowed upon the headliner featuring Chael Sonnen against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.

McGregor would undergo knee surgery after that bout and stayed out of action the rest of the year. By the time he returned, things were slightly different in the UFC.

The company had launched a new over-the-top streaming service called UFC Fight Pass, and in early 2014 it began using that service to broadcast entire events at odd hours from distant shores. Singapore. Berlin. Macau. Auckland. This represented a new tier of UFC programming – one firmly at the bottom.

A little more than six months into its existence, it felt reasonable for McGregor to headline a UFC Fight Pass card, which hardly felt like real events anyway. They loved him over in Ireland, or so we heard. He was gaining some attention in the U.S., too, but along with it came skepticism. Put him up against someone who can grapple, people said, then we’ll find out what he’s made of.

That wish seemed to be on the verge of coming true when the UFC matched him up against American Top Team fighter Cole Miller, who raised eyebrows and confusion when he blasted McGregor in a post-fight interview, calling him “Colin McGoober.”

The pairing seemed to have the mix of animosity and clashing styles that would check all the UFC’s usual boxes. But then Miller withdrew with an injury, and in stepped Diego Brando, a Brazilian buzzsaw with a penchant for starting fast and fading the same way.

The buildup was classic McGregor. It got intense, and at times it got personal. McGregor insisted that the UFC had decided to cut Brandao, but had kept him around just in case it needed him, as was the case once Miller dropped out. At the weigh-ins McGregor threw his hat at Brandao, and the two had to be restrained by UFC President Dana White (check it out in the video above).

For McGregor, it was all preamble leading to the inevitable.

“I haven’t been impressed by any of these guys in a long, long time,” McGregor said before the bout. “Sit them right there and let them see the new king. Let them bow before the new king. I have a clear vision of that gold belt being strapped around my waist by the end of the year. I’ve predicted the future before, so I’m not going to doubt myself this time, either.”

Conor McGregor

By the time fight night rolled around, The O2 buzzed with an energy that made the crowd feel twice its actual size for those watching on the UFC Fight Pass stream. You could watch McGregor’s entrance and see the starry backdrop of cellphone cameras lit up for the big moment. The man of the hour strolled calmly to the cage wearing a Dethrone T-shirt with a version of the Fighting Irish logo reformed in his own image. The pop from the crowd came through even on laptop speakers, even in broad daylight back here in the U.S.

It didn’t take McGregor long to fulfill his own prophecy. He basted Brandao with left hand counters. He reversed his takedown attempt and softened him up from the top. He worked the body until Brandao’s facial expression went from fierce to fatigued. When he bounced a straight left off the side of Brandao’s skull, the Brazilian sunk to the mat like an exhausted man collapsing into bed.

A few more punches and the matter was settled. A solid wall of cheers came up from the crowd, a sea of open mouths and raised hands clutching plastic cups of beer.

Being interviewed by UFC commentator Dan Hardy in the cage afterward, McGregor briefly let himself get sucked into discussing the Xs and Os of his victory before remembering who he was.

“You would have to be something special to come over here in my hometown and take this away from me,” McGregor said, whipping the crowd into a frenzy. “There’s not a man alive that can come on this isle and beat me.”

According to the UFC, the event went down as the most successful in the short history of UFC Fight Pass, as well as being one of the year’s most successful international events at the gate. In Ireland, it broke records as the highest-rated sports event for the UFC’s local TV broadcast partner, 3e.

Once all the numbers were in, they predicted fame for the 25-year-old McGregor. For himself, he predicted much more.

“What’s next for me is I’m going to go backstage with Mr. Lorenzo Fertitta, toast some fine-ass whiskey, and talk about football stadiums next,” McGregor said. “Football stadiums and world titles – that’s what I want.”

As they closed their laptops that Saturday afternoon, there had to be some fight fans wondering for the first time if maybe this guy could actually make those wishes come true.

For more on UFC Fight Night 46, stay tuned to the UFC Events section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC champ Max Holloway predicts Mayweather-McGregor winner and – spoiler – it's neither fighter

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LAS VEGAS – Max Holloway had barely exited the octagon after his title-unifying UFC 212 win over Jose Aldo when he was asked about who should be next for his title: Frankie Edgar or Cub Swanson.

The champ was diplomatic about it. If it came down to it, he’d be OK with giving Swanson (25-7 MMA, 10-3 UFC) a rematch after a UFC on FOX 15 encounter that ended in a third-round submission for Holloway. But he did seem to lean toward former lightweight champ Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) – who, ultimately, would allow Holloway to add another champ to his list of victims.

Over a month later – shortly before UFC president Dana White pointed to Edgar as the likely challenger – Holloway was once again put in front of reporters to answer questions about his immediate octagon future. And he was, once again, non-committal.

But at least he had a sense of humor about it.

“I guess I’m going to say it to you guys: We’ve got a fight announcement,” Holloway opened his scrum with reporters during Saturday’s UFC 213. “It’s what you guys all thought. It’s Frankie… And Cub. Two guys, one night. UFC is going to do a special event for me. Tag team match. Come get it, guys. Come watch it; it’s going to be great.”

Considering that negotiations were still underway, it’s understandable why Holloway was careful not to express a clear preference of challenger. Instead, he went for his habitual “I want to fight everyone” reply, placing responsibility for what’s ultimately a “business decision” on the UFC brass, the fans, and even the media.

But he did admit that, when it comes to sheer fan interest, there is a frontrunner. As it turns out, it’s neither Edgar nor Swanson.

“It’s actually (UFC lightweight champion Conor) McGregor,” Holloway said. “Everybody keeps saying ‘McGregor, McGregor.’ I’m like, ‘Guys, that guy’s boxing right now. He’s got other things. Respect to that guy, he’s got other things.’”

By “other things” he means of course, the highly buzzed-about boxing match between McGregor and boxing legend Floyd Mayweather. The two are set to meet on Aug. 26 at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena. And after the mega-event – and the paycheck that will follow – many wonder if McGregor will ever return to the cage.

If he does, the Irishman has unfinished business – at least in the eyes of some contenders. Although McGregor won two UFC belts, in both the 145-pound division and 155-pound divisions, he’s yet to take part in a single defense. While he was stripped of the featherweight title, he’s still the UFC’s 155-pound kingpin.

Holloway, who happens to be one of McGregor’s octagon victims, seems tired of speaking about the Irishman at this point. After all, it’s now been four years, 11 UFC wins and two UFC titles since he lost to McGregor at UFC on FOX 26. Would he like to get that one back? Of course – the same way he’d like to avenge all three of his career losses.

“But, at the end of the day, we’re not here to talk about that guy,” Holloway said. “That guy’s not even in my sport right now. That guy’s over there focusing on boxing. This is called mixed martial arts. They know who to call. they’ve got Dana White’s number. They’ve got my manager’s number.

“I’m the best 145-er in the world, and if they’ve got a question of me going up to 155, I’ll do it no problem. I love eating. I’m Polynesian. You can see – my chubby cheeks is giving it away a little bit.”

OK, so Holloway is done with the McGregor talk. But, while we’re at it, who does he think will be the winner of the mega-event on Aug. 26?

“The big winner of that fight is Dana White,” Holloway said. “And the UFC, dog. They’re the big winners.”

When it comes to his octagon future, the typically active Holloway is confident that he’ll fight at least once more this year. And, though his hand has some healing up to do, he expects to be cleared by August.

If White is to be believed, that return should happen against Edgar. And while time and place have yet to be set, it’s no secret that the UFC is planning a November return to New York City’s Madison Square Garden – which just so happens to be quite close to Edgar’s New Jersey turf.

On his end, Holloway is still pushing for that UFC event in Hawaii. In fact, he thinks it might become a reality as early as next year. But, after going all the way to Brazil to dethrone Aldo in front of his kingdom, he’d be OK with entering enemy territory at MSG as well.

“What is there to say – that’s another legend,” Holloway said. “That’s another legend of our sport, of the lower weight classes, and I can’t wait. I’ve been wanting to fight that guy forever, for a long time.

“I’ve been calling him out for a while now. And now we’re here. Now we’ve got to figure out, we’ll see what happens. We’ll see if we get it done. If it’s at MSG, it’s even better – that’s history.”

To hear from Holloway, check out the video above.

And for more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Dana White says Max Holloway likely gets ex-UFC champ Frankie Edgar next

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It sounds like Max Holloway’s first title defense as an undisputed champion will come against a former champ.

UFC President Dana White told KHON-2 in Holloway’s (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) home state of Hawaii that “Blessed” is likely to take on former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) sometime later this year for his first challenge as featherweight champion. But the UFC boss did not elaborate on when or where the fight might take place.

“We’re looking at Frankie Edgar, but we don’t know where,” White said. “Absolutely (before the end of the year).”

Holloway won the UFC’s interim featherweight title this past December with a dominant win over former lightweight champ Anthony Pettis at UFC 206. At UFC 212 in June, he unified the title with a third-round knockout of Jose Aldo (27-2 MMA, 9-1 UFC) in Brazil.

After that, Holloway said he wanted a pay raise. With his wins over Pettis and Aldo, one certainly would be warranted if he took out another former champ in Edgar.

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Edgar lost the lightweight title to Benson Henderson five and a half years ago. He couldn’t regain it in a rematch, then dropped to featherweight and went after Aldo. He lost that title fight, as well, for a three-bout skid.

After five straight wins over Charles Oliveira, B.J. Penn, Cub Swanson, Urijah Faber and Chad Mendes, Edgar got another shot at Aldo at UFC 200 a year ago, but again lost. He has rebounded with wins over Jeremy Stephens and Yair Rodriguez, though, to put himself right back in the mix.

Although not yet announced, the UFC is planning a November return to Madison Square Garden in New York City, not far from Edgar’s New Jersey stomping grounds. And that could make an ideal setting for what would be his third shot at a 145-pound title. Over the course of a UFC career that has stretched more than 10 years, Edgar has had eight title fights and is 3-4-1 in those bouts.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Dana White would love to bring UFC to Hawaii for champ Max Holloway, but …

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LAS VEGAS – Now that Max Holloway is a UFC champion, he can be expected to keep pushing the promotion finally paying a visit to his home state.

Holloway has been pitching Hawaii as a UFC destination for years, well before he had a belt wrapped around his waist. But now that he’s the featherweight titleholder, maybe he has a little extra sway.

According to UFC President Dana White, the UFC would love to add Hawaii to its resume – but from a logistics standpoint, it’s a hard one.

“Nobody wants to fly to Hawaii and do a show more than me and my staff,” White told MMAjunkie in an exclusive sit-down this past week. “Who wouldn’t want to go there? And the media? Everybody wants to go there. It’s a tough one to pencil.

“They don’t have an arena. They have the outside bowl. I’m terrified to do anything outside with fighting. I used to spend a lot of time in Hawaii early on when we bought the company because there were a lot of good fights out there. It rains every 10 minutes. It’s raining, and then it’s beautiful out … it’s raining, then it’s beautiful out. It’s scary, man.”

Aloha Stadium, near Honolulu, hosts football games for the University of Hawaii, but is an open-roof stadium. Honolulu does, however, have the Stan Sheriff Center, an indoor arena that seats more than 10,000 people. The arena is on the University of Hawaii’s campus and is the home to the school’s basketball and volleyball teams.

So maybe … just maybe … the possibility exists, and White at least is willing to keep the door open.

“Six months ago, I said we wouldn’t do the (women’s) 125-pound division,” White said. “So I’m not saying no anymore. We’ll see what happens.”

Holloway (18-3 MMA, 14-3 UFC) is coming off a finish of Jose Aldo (27-2 MMA, 9-1 UFC) at UFC 212 to unify the featherweight titles. He had become the interim 145-pound champion with a win over Anthony Pettis this past December.

After the win over Aldo, which took place in the all-time great’s home country of Brazil, Holloway demanded a pay raise.

“The bigger the game you bring in to the table, the bigger paychecks you get,” he said at the post-event press conference. “I think Aldo is a silverback gorilla. Now I want my paycheck. I don’t want money fights. I want to get paid.”

Ultimately, Holloway told MMAjunkie Radio that he believed White would take care of him. And the UFC boss appears to be a fan.

“He’s awesome,” White said. “If you look at his run, it’s been amazing. He’s a good kid. Hawaii finally has a champ again.”

But does it have a champ that can bring the world’s biggest MMA promotion to the islands? Time will tell.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Felice Herrig: UFC promoting me in 'hot girl' fights isn't good enough

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In the moments following her impressive performance at UFC Fight Night 112, Felice Herrig fought back tears as she talked about feeling “not young and beautiful enough” for the UFC to want to promote her.

The frustration for Herrig (13-6 MMA, 4-1 UFC) seemed to stem from the fact that, while she’s on a three-fight winning streak, which includes knocking off two previously undefeated opponents, the 32-year-old veteran wonders if the opportunity to become a star is out of reach.

On Tuesday, Herrig expounded on why she feels that way durng an appearance on “The Luke Thomas Show.”

“I get promoted when it’s like, ‘Oh, it’s a hot girl fight.,’” Herrig said. “But I’m not the one they’re promoting. They’re promoting my opponent. I feel like I’m a stepping stone. I’m getting put on the main card every time, so obviously I’m some kind of draw. But, unfortunately, I’m fighting opponents who they’re trying to pump up and build.”

Herrig points to recent fights with Kailin Curran and Alexa Grasso as evidence. Herrig pointed out that Grasso, 23, was asked by the UFC to make more promotional appearances for their UFC Fight Night 104 co-headliner and was more prominent on the event poster, not just because she had been undefeated but also, as Herrig claims, because she’s young and attractive.

Which brings us to UFC Fight Night 112, this past Sunday in Oklahoma City, where Herrig knocked off another undefeated opponent in Justine Kish. Herrig wonders where all the promotion was leading up to the fight.

“Obviously it was a draw. People knew it was gong to be a great fight, because look where it was on the card,” Herrig said. “It was on the main card right before the main event. It got zero marketing behind it, zero pulse, zero attention, zero promotion. Why? Because it wasn’t a hot girl fight?”

Herrig’s arguments aren’t reserved for just female fighters, either, as she mentioned UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway and Sage Northcutt as examples of the company’s reluctance to push certain accomplished fighters, while others get special treatment because of their looks.

“It’s not just me. I’m not just speaking on my behalf. I’m speaking for all the fighters who feel this way,” Herrig said. “I am not the only one who feels slighted. … Look at someone like Max Holloway – 11-fight win streak, has more wins in his division than anyone in the UFC. Is he even getting attention? The respect that he deserves now that he’s the champ? I don’t think so. …

“Why is somebody like Sage Northcutt coming in, with what, two pro fights, he wins one fight in the UFC, and he does a backflip, and all of a sudden, ‘We’re going to pay you a (expletive)-ton of money. We’re going to pay you more than a guy who’s been in the UFC for 10 years.’ And then he gets choked out in his next two fights. And he’s still getting all this media attention?”

Despite how it might appear, Herrig wants to make it clear that she’s not against fighters; she’s against “the big machine,” as she calls it.

“I’m not against the fighters,” Herrig said. “I’m 100 percent not against the fighters. I’m against the system, because the system is (expletive).”

She continued, “this is not about beauty, and it’s not about looks. It’s about all the fighters who are getting overlooked who are very talented. If they even had just a little bit of push from the big machine, not even about their looks, just a little chance to shine, and to be put on the mainstream stage. That’s what it’s about.”

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 112, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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