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UFC 231: Max Holloway cautious but confident ahead of title fight against Brian Ortega

Max Holloway made weight on Saturday and the 27-year-old sounded quite confident ahead of his UFC 231 main event fight against the unbeaten Brian Ortega.

other sports Updated: Dec 08, 2018 15:10 IST
Sayan Ghosh
Sayan Ghosh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UFC 231,Max Holloway,Brian Ortega
Max Holloway face Brian Ortega in UFC 231.(Twitter)

The featherweight championship match between Max Holloway and Brian Ortega was supposed to be a prime attraction at UFC 226 back in July, but the MMA fans were left disappointed as Holloway was deemed medically unfit. Holloway had earlier opted out of a last-minute lightweight title shot in April against Khabib Nurmagomedov and a lot of questions surrounded his condition ahead of UFC 231.

However, the doubts were all squashed as the reigning champion made weight on Saturday and the 27-year-old sounded quite confident ahead of his main event fight against the unbeaten Ortega.

“I stay in the gym and I’ve been prepared to fight. I prepared to fight the last couple of times but the doctor didn’t allow me to. So we have stayed ready in camp and I’m ready to go. These are two young fighters in their prime and we’re going to put on a show,” Holloway told Hindustan Times.

With back-to-back wins against Jose Aldo in 2017, Holloway was looking in brilliant shape but the medical problems have haunted him this year. Holloway’s last title defense came way back in December last year but the champion was quick to explain that the lay-off will not have any impact on his game.

“I like to stay active. My goal is to leave this sport as the best pound for pound fighter on the planet and, to do that, you have to be willing to fight anytime and anywhere. I don’t like having long layoffs so hopefully we can do this fight and then fight again soon,” he said.

While Ortega has not lost any of his 14 fights in UFC, Holloway is not far behind. The 27-year-old has won 12 straight fights (fifth-longest streak in UFC history) and his last loss came against Conor McGregor way back in 2013. However, Holloway is not ready to rest on his laurels and he believes that the winning streak will not be an advantage for him when he faces the top fighter in the featherweight division.

“No, no pressure at all. I take things fight by fight. You can lose a fight anytime and then you’re back to no win streak so you just have to take every fight as they come,” Holloway said.

First Published: Dec 08, 2018 15:10 IST