‘We Were Supposed to Run it One Time’- Max Holloway Issues a Challenge to UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov

Published 02/24/2021, 6:09 AM EST


Max Holloway sat down with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani and revealed his take on possibly fighting lightweight GOAT, Khabib Nurmagomedov. ‘Blessed’ was tasked to take on Nurmagomedov on short notice, however, he couldn’t make the weight in time. Chiefly, there’s always been a certain tone of fan speculation about how ‘Blessed’ would fare against Khabib Nurmagomedov.

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‘The Eagle’ retired following a successful title defense against Justin Gaethje, wherein he won via Triangle choke. His decision to walk away came as a surprise, and fans are pining to see his return to action.

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – OCTOBER 25: (R-L) Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia takes down Justin Gaethje in their lightweight title bout during the UFC 254 event on October 25, 2020 on UFC Fight Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
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There is a laundry list of high-profile match-ups that Khabib Nurmagomedov could take on for his 30 bout. One name in the fray will be the dominant featherweight and onetime UFC interim lightweight title challenger, Max Holloway.

Max Holloway weighs in on fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov

Helwani asked ‘Blessed’ Holloway if Khabib Nurmagomedov was a name he wanted to scrap and his answer was straightforward. Khabib certainly qualifies as a ‘Legacy’ fight that Holloway is keen to scalp under his belt.

“Khabib is one of them for sure [to coax out of retirement]. I keep telling you guys, I want legacy fights. I want fights that will cement my name forever in this sport, even when I’m long gone, and he’s one of the guys out there for sure. He did what he did, he’s still the number one pound-for-pound fighter in the world and he’s retired.”

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ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – SEPTEMBER 07: Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia prepares to enter the Octagon prior to his lightweight championship bout against Dustin Poirier during UFC 242 at The Arena on September 7, 2019 in Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

“That says a lot about the man. I would love to share the octagon, I know we were supposed to run it one time. You can call me biased but I think mine and his press conference was the best press conference the UFC ever saw in its lifetime, so I think that was great.”

It boils down to whether Khabib Nurmagomedov seriously plans on making a comeback to etch a 30 professional win. The general consensus is that he just might return if an opponent offers a serious enough challenge. Given the run that Max Holloway is on, there’s a good chance that ‘The Eagle’ will find the former featherweight champion worthy.

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Darryl Pinto

1450 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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