He’s one of the hottest properties in the UFC after a stunning win at UFC 231 but Max Holloway is focused on his next opponent — whoever it may be.
And that could be Conor McGregor.
The 27-year-old featherweight champion retained his title in Canada against the previously undefeated Brian Ortega with a TKO in the fourth round.
Doctors had to stop the fight after Ortega’s left eye was almost closed and his face was covered in blood.
It was a stunning victory for Holloway who was making a comeback of sorts against Ortega, after having to pull out of their previous fight that was set up for UFC 226 with “concussion-like symptoms”.
But after a huge display against Ortega, UFC president Dana White has called for the Hawaiian to move up into the lightweight division, which could open up some intriguing fights.
“Listen, Max is a grown man and we need to talk but I’d like to see Max go to  now,” White said at the UFC 231 post fight press conference. “I think that the guy is 27 going on 28 years old, he’s in the prime of his life, never looked better. Continues to improve every single fight that he’s in and I think he’s done everything he can do at .
“Why keep cutting that weight and I think there’s some big things for him at 55.
“If Holloway goes to 55, everybody in the top five is a fun fight for him.”
A rise to lightweight would pit Holloway in the same division as Khabib Nurmagomedov, Tony Ferguson, Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor.
A match up with the 30-year-old Irishman would be a huge match up with after the pair first battled in August 2013, when McGregor defeated a 21-year-old in a unanimous decision.
“Everybody talks about the top three guys, everybody wants to see me and Conor (McGregor) because we fought when I was a kid,” Holloway said.
“I keep hearing the name Conor, Khabib (Nurmagomedov) 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 (White) and figure it out.”
Holloway also said Khabib could be an option after the pair were originally meant to go head to head in UFC 222 before Holloway was medically ruled out at the weigh in.
“Khabib [Nurmagomedov] is another undefeated fighter,” Holloway said.
“I got this niche, I guess. I just gave an undefeated fighter his first loss. So maybe that one might excite me the most.”
With Tony Ferguson reportedly next in line for Khabib, Holloway might have to settle for McGregor, who has had Dustin Poirier floated as a potential next opponent.
The win over Ortega saw Holloway, who has 13 straight wins in the division, labelled the best featherweight fighter ever.
Holloway passed on the mantle to Brazilian Jose Aldo, who defended the featherweight belt nine times.
“I still believe the greatest featherweight of all time is Jose Aldo,” the 27-year-old Holloway told reporters after Saturday night’s win. “When I’m 30 or 31 or his age, then you ask me if I’m the greatest featherweight of all time, if I’m still here.”
McGregor was a former featherweight champion himself, and someone who knocked Aldo out in 13 seconds at UFC 194, was quick to throw his own name into the ring and fans backed him up.
McGregor added it was great to see Holloway fit and firing.
Sounds like the best place to settle this would be in the octagon.
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