Waianae’s Max Holloway is set to return to the octagon on Saturday when the modern MMA legend takes on Chan Sung Jung in the main event of UFC on ESPN 52 in Singapore.

Holloway (24-7) most recently fought on April 15 at UFC on ESPN 44 in Kansas City, thwarting contender Arnold Allen with a unanimous decision victory.

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Saturday will mark the quickest turnaround between fights for Holloway since 2019, back when he challenged Dustin Poirier for the vacant lightweight belt in April and defended his featherweight belt against Frankie Edgar in July.

Standing across from Holloway on Saturday will be Jung, better known as “The Korean Zombie,” who is also hailed as a modern MMA legend in his own right. Jung (17-7) most recently fought on April 9, 2022, losing via TKO to Alexander Volkanovski in a featherweight championship bout.

Holloway will return to Singapore, where he first fought in 2014. It was there that he virtually saved himself from becoming a UFC roster cut by defeating Will Chope. In the years since, Holloway has fought for a UFC belt nine times, winning five title fights. He has also earned a combined nine fight night bonuses, solidifying himself as a fan favorite and surefire Hall of Famer, though the 31-year old believes he’s far from done.

“It’s full circle. Last time in 2014, I believe, I was fighting Will Chope,” Holloway told KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello. “It was my pink slip fight.

“And now to be back here and be back, being a former champion, being right there, knocking on the door for another championship fight, why not do it again? (In 2014) I went out there on a two fight losing streak. Now I can leave there on a two fight winning streak and we can start this whole run again.

“People ask me, ‘What’s next?’ What’s this? What’s that? First things first is Korean Zombie. He’s a beast in every matter. Everybody is letting these odds (Holloway is an -850 betting favorite, according to the UFC) fool them. I’m getting ready for a dangerous Korean Zombie. At the end of the day, he got a year and a couple of months off. All the injuries or whatever mentally, went on physically, personal and not personal, business, life, whatever he had going on, he had a year to fix that.

“He’s been in there against champions. He know what it takes to be a champion. I’m just expecting a full blown killer and Korean Zombie and I’m excited.”

Holloway quite literally puts Hawaii on his back every time he fights, draping a Hawaiian flag around his shoulders every time he makes the walk to the octagon on fight night. It will be no different on Saturday’s main card, which begins at 2 a.m. HST on ESPN+.

Although Holloway will be far away from home as far as distance and time are concerned, he’s hoping to put on a show for those watching from his home state, particularly in Maui, where the death toll from the Lahaina wildfires continue to rise.

“Every time I go there, I always tell you guys, I got Hawaii on my back no matter what. It’s a lot more heavier now with Lahaina and what’s going on. I got a lot more to go out there and prove to show the warrior spirit. It’s like, these guys lost everything and they have a warrior fighting spirit. Now I can do the same. … If I can just take their minds off of whatever is going on right now with the tragedy going on for a second, that’s what I can do. You know, they’re just amazing people.

“And I think they are true heroes. The real heroes is is the guys living through it, the people who who lost family members and lost everything. We are here for you. Don’t don’t think you’re alone in this battle. We got you guys through thick and thin.

“So keep fighting hard. … It looks like there ain’t no beginning and there ain’t no end. But we are here with you all the way.”