‘We Got Options, Bro!’

It’s a blessed time to be Max Holloway.

The former UFC featherweight champion was counted out by a lot of people coming into his BMF belt battle against Justin Gaethje at UFC 300. But he not only beat Gaethje, he dominated him. And then he invited “The Highlight” to stand and bang in the center of the octagon, where Max knocked him clean out (watch the finish and more here).

After being stuck in a gatekeeper position for two years, the win leaves Holloway with three championship paths: a shot at his old featherweight title, a go at the lightweight title, or a defense of his BMF title.

“I got options, man. It feels great,” Holloway said at the UFC 300 post-fight press conference. “Dana’s happy. Hunter’s happy. Sean Shelby’s happy. We could sit down with the team and figure it out. I saw they just announced [Makhachev vs. Poirier for] the 155 title, so it looks like [Makhachev] is finally defending against a 155er, good on him.”

“And like I said, you know, there’s ‘El Matador.’ He’s doing everything in his will to, try to escape a boo in the pen. So, you know, I’m here.”

While he’ll have to choose what’s next, Holloway made it clear that he intended to fight everyone on his hitlist.

“I ain’t in a rush, I ain’t going nowhere. I’m only I’m only 32, brother,” he said. “A lot of people watched me fight when I was 20 in this sport and think I’m, like, 41 or something. You guys think I’m DC’s age. You know? I’m not. I’m 32. I’ve been around for a long time. Get used to it.”

With lightweight champion Islam Makhachev fighting Dustin Poirier at UFC 302 in June, that leaves Ilia Topuria open and available for a featherweight title defense sometime later this year. After suggesting Holloway didn’t deserve to fight him, Topuria now says Max will be his next opponent.

“This guy is a world champion. He’s a killer,” Max said of Topuria. “But like I said all fight week: brother, we got questions. There’s a lot of questions about the guy, and I wanna figure that out … Ilia can talk, but I got a lot of questions. If that ever gets booked, you guys gonna see a lot of answers, so I’m excited for it.”

And if Holloway wins the 145 pound belt, the first thing he’ll do is use it to draw Alexander Volkanovski back into the cage. Volk is 3-0 against Holloway,

“I ever get that title back, Volk stays around, I wanna fight him one more time, brother. I’m gonna keep knocking on that door until I get my one, you know?”

As for the BMF belt, Holloway sees it as perfect bait to lock in a rematch against Conor McGregor. The two fought in 2013, with McGregor earning a solid decision.

“Conor likes to consider himself a BMF, right?” Holloway said. “So we can figure that out.”

He’s also got his eye on the Makhachev vs. Poirier winner at UFC 302.

“I don’t really got history with Islam, but me and Dustin got some history,” he said. “Five years to the date, ‘Muffin Top Max’ fought Dustin, and that didn’t go my way. So at the end of the day, we got options, bro.

“First things first: heal up. Imma enjoy this with my family, and you guys can ask me in a couple months what what’s the next step is.”

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