Despite not having to make the walk into the octagon UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway in the last few weeks has landed some significant strikes at his claim at being the pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.
The 27-year-old Waianae native currently owns the UFC’s longest active win-streak and is the longest reigning men’s world champion.
That distinction comes after Georges St. Pierre announced his retirement two weeks ago and Tyron Woodley lost his welterweight crown this past Saturday.
That leaves Holloway’s 13 consecutive victories and 639-days as champion as the gold standard.
LONGEST REIGNING ACTIVE UFC CHAMPIONS (Men’s Division)
Featherweight – Max Holloway Jun 3, 2017
Bantamweight – T.J. Dillashaw Nov 4, 2017
Middleweight – Robert Whittaker Dec 7, 2017
Lightweight – Khabib Nurmagomedov Apr 7, 2018
Flyweight – Henry Cejudo Aug 4, 2018
Heavyweight – Daniel Cormier Jul 7, 2018
Light Heavyweight – Jon Jones Dec 29, 2018
Welterweight – Kamaru Usman Mar 2, 2019
LONGEST ACTIVE UFC WIN STREAKS
Max Holloway – 13
Khabib Nurmagomedov – 11
Tony Ferguson – 11
Kamaru Usman – 10
Robert Whitaker – 9
Amanda Nunes – 8
Daniel Cormier – 7
Santiago Ponzinibbio – 7
Holloway, who is currently ranked fourth in the UFC’s Pound-for-Pound rankings can make more noise on April 13 in Atlanta at UFC 236 when he faces Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight title.
Monday marked as day one of ‘double champ camp’ and KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello was invited to check-in. As expected the intensity matched the 10-pound increase from 145 to 155-pounds.
“I got the best coaches in the world. I got the best training coach. Everybody keeps saying, oh, the power and the weight might be different. I’ve been training like this the whole time. I’ve been the underdog my whole life. This ‘ain’t nothing new. We’re going to adapt. That’s what champions do, they adapt in there and I can’t wait for the challenge,” said Holloway.
“I got the best guys. I got teammates that check me when they see me slacking off and they keep me honest. I’m grateful for them. Like I said, I want guys that will push me and raise the bar with me. Not guys who are in their comfort zone.”
According to Holloway, a major motivator is the attempt at adding to his already legendary resume and earn the elusive status of pound-for-pound best fighter in the world.
“Rush (max’s son) don’t even know how much belts I got. It’s in the closet. That guy can go searching in the closet, he’ll find it but who don’t know. He really don’t know. It’s not about belts it’s about legacy. When it’s all said and done I want somebody to look at my record like whoa man, Max best this guy? Wait, he beat this guy and this guy and be like one of those guys like Georges St. Pierre and Anderson Silva. When they fight it’s a whole big thing and when Georges retired it was a huge thing you know? It’s like crazy for the MMA world. I want to be the best guys like that. They got to set the bar and the bar is meant to be broken and I’m coming,” Holloway told DeMello.
Holloway’s match-up against Poirier is seven years in the making. Back in 2012 a then 20-year old Holloway made his UFC debut by suffering the only stoppage loss of his career. A first round Submission (mounted triangle armbar) in the first round to Poirier. Now with a chance to not only avenge the defeat but also become a two-weight class champion is more than enough motivation.
“That stare down lasted for seven years you know? I can’t wait. It’s not even about revenge. He gave me an L, I learned a lot from it and I was grateful for that fight and I wouldn’t change a thing. Now we’re here and I’m just grateful that he’s across from me. He fought former champions and got wins over former champions and it’s a fairy tale ending you know? I get to fight him. We’ll see what happens. It’s only right. He stopped me so I got to get a stop to get him back. We’ll see what happens but it’s going to be an exciting day and I can’t wait,” said Holloway.
Holloway and Poirier will headline UFC 236 in Atlanta, Georgia on April 13. The main card will be televised on pay-per-view.
Also featured in UFC 236 will be the UFC debut of Waianae’s Boston Salmon. The bantamweight will face Khalid Taha. It is unknown where that fight will take place in regards to the main card or prelims.