Max Holloway faces Yair Rodriguez at UFC Vegas 42

LAS VEGAS — The UFC in specific and combined martial arts in basic is filled with males and females who share the values of Max Holloway: Anybody, anywhere, at any time. It’s one of the factors the sport is so terrific. The very best often look for the most hard obstacles, and the rankings indicate something.

Holloway, however, discovers himself in a unique position as he heads into what must be a great featherweight bout Saturday (4 p.m. ET, ESPN+) at Peak in the primary occasion of UFC Vegas 42 versus Yair Rodriguez. A win would likely make him the preferred to be the next opposition for featherweight champ Alexander Volkanovski.

Volkanovski and Holloway have actually currently combated two times, and Volkanovski won both times in extremely close choices. He recorded the title at UFC 245 and after that effectively safeguarded it at UFC 251.

After he beat Brian Ortega at UFC 266 on Sept. 26, Volkanovski applauded Holloway for taking the battle with Rodriguez. Volkanovski stated the winner would be the next opposition for his belt.

“Let’s be honest: Max didn’t have to take that fight and he still would have gotten [the title shot],” Volkanovski stated.

Holloway understands that, however he wasn’t ready to sit idly by and wait on another title shot thus lots of have actually done. The concept of doing it breaks whatever he values.

He’s a fighter in every regard of the word, therefore he wishes to do what fighters do: Battle.

“Why would I even do that?” he stated of remaining waiting on a title shot. “Why?”

That’s one of the lots of things that UFC president Dana White enjoys about Holloway. White is a long time fight sports fan who matured in Boston being addicted to HBO’s World Champion Boxing.

There were lots of terrific nights, to be sure, however there were an extraordinarily high variety of disappointments. As a boy, White was desperate to enter into fight sports, and was striving to burglarize boxing.

He pledged that needs to he ever get an opportunity to run a sport, he’d do things various.

“A lot of times you stay home and watch boxing, you get pissed off you stayed home when you turned off the TV,” White stated. “I’d watch HBO and so many times, I asked myself, ‘What was the point of that?’ And I was pissed off I stayed home.

“What I said when we started this and were trying to grow the business, if anyone stayed home to watch our fights, I wanted them to be happy they stayed home when they watched the fights. And a guy like Max, he’s awesome.”

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JULY 12: (R-L) Max Holloway battles Alexander Volkanovski of Australia in their UFC featherweight championship fight during the UFC 251 event at Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Max Holloway isn’t one to relax waiting on a title shot. (Picture by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

Holloway is a winner, and is related to by lots of as the best featherweight ever, though Jose Aldo and Volkanovski both require to be because discussion. However he isn’t stressed over losing since he understands that in mixed martial arts, anything can take place. Even more, if he does lose, it won’t matter since it will have occurred in an excellent battle.

White stated he never ever wishes to hurt a fighter who loses if the fighter provides a fan-friendly efficiency.

“Max Holloway is a fighter who will fight anyone, goes balls to the wall at all times and he’s not worried about the consequences,” White stated.

Holloway’s dealing with an unsafe challenger in Rodriguez, despite the fact that Rodriguez will be defending the very first time in 25 months. He’ll most likely be used a chance at Volkanovski if he wins.

He’s not prepared to devote to that yet, though.

“Look, I’ve got five title-fight wins,” Holloway informed Yahoo Sports. “I definitely want my sixth title win and what better person to be with than Alex? At the end of the day, the UFC has discussed this with us. I’ve got a win over the 155 champ [Charles Oliveira]. We’re always on the short list for a Conor McGregor fight. I’m the best boxer in the UFC and we live in wild times, so I’ll let you guys use your imagination as to what can happen next.”

It doesn’t take much creativity to understand: Holloway will remain in a huge battle. The concern is the identity of his challenger.

Presuming he surpasses Rodriguez on Saturday, there appear to be 4 rational options at this moment, though one is more of a wild card than the others:

• A 3rd defend the featherweight title versus Volkanovski.

• A bout for the light-weight title with Oliveira if Oliveira beats Dustin Poirier in their title battle next month.

• A battle with McGregor.

• A bout with previous two-division champ Henry Cejudo if, as Cejudo supervisor Ali Abdel-Aziz firmly insists, Cejudo ends his brief retirement to take a perform at the featherweight title.

The terrific thing with Holloway is that no matter who it is, fans will be roaring when it ends and those who viewed it on tv will more than happy they stayed at home.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.