As with any division, when a longtime champion falls from grace, a new king is eventually crowned. Right now, Max Holloway is that new king. However, the UFC champion has two worthy adversaries looking to dethrone him, and Max Holloway endorses their skills as the next wave of featherweight contenders.
With several of the UFC’s top 10 featherweights aging, or having already had a shot at Max, both Brian Ortega an Josh Emmett are the next wave at 145.
Ortega recently took out the longtime top 5 ranked Cub Swanson with a submission for the ages, and Josh Emmett is coming off a knockout against former title challenger Ricardo Lamas.
Now it’s anyones guess how far these two can go, but Max chimes in, with a recent interview with MMAJunkie.com.
Here’s what the champ said:
“I was impressed by the two wins by those guys – of course. Ortega finishes Cub – that’s impressive stuff. It’s always impressive when you finish someone. Finishing anybody in the top 10, even the top five when we’re talking about those two guys, is amazing. We’re the best fighters in the world and you get to finish them, that’s always cool to see.”
“Me and Ortega are two young kids, so it should be fun whenever that happens. Josh Emmett came in and was able to shake it up real quick. I’m excited for the future. A lot of people are saying that one of those guys are going to give me a run. I can’t wait. I’m glad and I’m looking forward to the challenges. All these guys are cupcakes and there’s some new flavors, and I want my taste of them.”
“It is our job to make weight and Ricardo is the man; he didn’t have to, but he took (the fight) anyway. If (Emmett) made 145, or 146 and was two pounds off, he would gain pretty much the same thing anyway. It’s just he’s not dying in the moment. I don’t really take nothing away from him. He had to give up 30 percent (of his purse). It’s simple: Ricardo got caught, and it’s life. This is a game.
“I’m glad he missed weight. Anybody wants to fight me and miss weight, come do it, bro. I get your money and I get to whoop your ass. I don’t take nothing away from the guy. You have a job, you’re supposed to make weight, but that would get me more fired up. This guy wants to disrespect me and not make weight? I’ll make sure with the ass-whooping you get that you’ll be like, ‘Damn, I should have made weight.’”