UFC 260 will feature a much-anticipated fight between Alexander Volkanovski and Brian Ortega before the night’s main draw. However, while the contest is sure to be a UFC fan’s dream, some are already looking to the next fight.
Save for two losses to Volkanovski in 2019 and 2020, Max Holloway has been fighting well. However, he wants to show he still has his championship pedigree by facing off against whoever wins the featherweight title next.
Max Holloway’s UFC journey
Holloway has been fighting with the UFC for nearly a decade. After making quick work of his early professional opponents, Holloway took no time facing off against a cast of stars, soon-to-be stars, and other up-and-comers. According to UFC Stats, he kicked off a 12-fight winning streak in 2014 that stretched into the end of 2018, but after losing three of his last four fights, Holloway wants to change some things around.
Now approaching his thirties, Holloway doesn’t know how much longer he has to fight for title belts. His place in featherweight history is a complicated one filled with iconic wins but several defeats when it mattered most. However, if you ask him, the keys to the division lie in his hands.
The cloud known as Max Holloway
There’s a cloud hanging over UFC 260, but it has nothing to do with the men inside the octagon if you ask Holloway. He spoke about this cloud with SB Nation:
“I’m the cloud, you know,” Holloway told the site.”I mean, I’m the cloud over that fight. You know I’m the cloud over the division. I, you know, let them two guys focus on each other and focus what they got to do and then let the rain continue, you know, after it. So I can’t wait I’m just excited, you know, I’m just I’m just chilling out hanging out.”
With Holloway presumably on the verge of taking on whoever wins at the UFC 260 featherweight championship right now, he doesn’t need to focus on getting into ring shape and throwing punches. He can sit down with his fiance and child and enjoy the fight, study it for his inevitable battle against the winner, and enjoy the little things.
It will not be an easy task, however. Despite his calm thoughts on the bout, the worst thing that a fighter like Holloway can do is get too cocky and let his fighting suffer because of it. As such, he should not view the upcoming bout as a chance to take some time off, but as the first step in getting ready to step inside the octagon and show either Volkanovski or Ortega why he’s the presumed next step they need if they want to maintain the featherweight belt.
What to expect from Alexander Volkanovski vs. Brian Ortega
Volkanovski isn’t ready to take Ortega lightly. After all, the fighter is in the middle of a career resurgence that is already reaping results, with two recent wins against Holloway helping him remain focused on his ultimate goal.
“The guy’s always been a good fighter,” Volkanovski told MMA Junkie. “I talk about his improvements as if he wasn’t good. He’s always been a great fighter, and he’s always had a lot of good skills. But I believe he has evolved. This whole ‘Ortega 2.0,’ I believe it. I’ve seen a different fighter in there – even though he’s always been dangerous.”
As Volkanovski notes, however, that doesn’t mean that Ortega is the favorite. Volkanovski has a speed advantage that even the most formidable opponents have a hard time matching, and he doesn’t see the second incarnation of Ortega standing a chance if he’s swinging on all fronts. If Ortega wants to win, he might need to get it done early. After all, Volkanovski told MMA Junkie that he expected the fight to go into the middle grounds.
Whatever the case may be, Volkanovski’s speed and Ortega’s strategic blows should make for a memorable fight at UFC 260. While championship glory may be enough to win the night, however, Holloway is already preparing to put his last defeats behind him and show them who the real champion is.