Max Holloway is on one of the greatest runs right now in all of MMA, and if he gets by Brian Ortega at UFC 231, it will be another, very impressive addition to the champ’s resume. But how big of an addition will it be? And where it will leave “Blessed” in the pound-for-pound discussion?
As Saturday’s contest approaches, Holloway is riding a 12 fight winning streak which dates back to 2013, when he lost via decision to Conor McGregor. Since Holloway was so young when that fight went down, most people understood that the Hawaiian star had the potential to become something very special. That’s clearly turned out to be the case, as the featherweight king recently alluded to at a pre-fight presser while discussing his accomplishments compared to Ortega’s (quote via MMA Fighting):
“He’s good,” Holloway said. “He’s a dangerous man, but everybody keeps talking about Brian and this and that. Everything the guy did, I did better. He’s on what, a six-fight win streak? I got 12. He beat a champion? I beat two — and I beat one of them twice. So at the end of the day, the ‘Blessed’ express is going around in a circle. We’re lapping you, bro. And I’m younger than you, so congratulations.”
“Me and him are (around) the same age. We’ll probably run into each other in a couple different weight classes. Who knows? If he wants to. Our backgrounds, Hawaiian and Mexican, we love food, so you might even see us be fighting for the ‘Daddest Man on the Planet’ (heavyweight) one time, so who knows.”
There you have it. Now, sure, Ortega’s supporters would likely point out that he’s never lost, and that he’s coming off a knockout win over the legendary Frankie Edgar, who many believe would present a stiff test for Holloway. Holloway, as he noted, has defeated the longtime king of the division in Jose Aldo, not once but twice, and has also defeated many top contenders.
Ultimately, the fact that Ortega has been so ridiculously impressive means that if Holloway defeats him, the case that he’s one of the very best, P4P fighters will be significantly stronger. Currently Holloway is ranked #4 in the UFC’s P4P division, behind TJ Dillashaw, Jon Jones, Khabib Nurmagomedov and then Daniel Cormier. For folks that don’t have Holloway ahead of Dillashaw on that list yet, it’s hard to imagine them not making that change, if “Blessed” defeats Ortega.
First things first, however, and that’s getting by “T-City”.