Should Max Holloway be Conor McGregor’s next fight?
Max Holloway should be the next fight for Conor McGregor. Conor is fresh off a loss to Khabib Nurmagomedov. While Khabib’s next fight seems obvious in Tony Ferguson, Conor’s next fight is not as clear. So why is Max Holloway the best fight for Conor McGregor?
First, it is interesting because Max is on a 12 fight win streak. To break that win streak would certainly be a prize for McGregor. For Max, his win streak was preceded by a loss to Conor McGregor. It would be reward for Holloway if he could avenge the loss.
A second reason the fight is interesting is Conor won the first fight by decision. That is the only decision win in his career. I would imagine Conor views a decision win as a lost. It would be important for him to avenge the decision win.
A third component that makes it a great fight is Conor would have to develop a solid game plan. Max’s style is unique in comparison to many other fighters. One facet of his unique style is with lateral movement. For Conor to be victorious against Max again it would require him to create a new game plan appropriate to his opponent. Furthermore, Conor is at his best when he is changing his style based on his opponent. The Chad Mendes fight is a great example of this. This is certainly a requirement if Conor is to beat Khabib in a rematch.
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A fourth facet that makes this the fight interesting is Max is the champion of a division where Conor is the former champion. Additionally, Conor never lost the belt in that division in the octagon. Even if they fought, at catch weight, without a title, this fight is necessary for Max to vindicate himself against the asterisk that the name Conor McGregor brings to the division and his title. Max defeated Anthony Pettis once and Jose Also twice for the interim and unified titles respectively. He defeated Jose Aldo twice in impressive fashion. Yet, even these impressive accomplishments do not remove the asterisk that Conor won the belt and never lost it in a fight.
The last component that makes the fight intriguing is Max out grappled Conor. Certainly Conor won the first fight by decision. But he injured his knee when Max had him in a lock down. I would suggest this strongly indicates that Max out grappled Conor. Conor did not have an answer to the application of the lock down by Max. In no way am I suggesting that Conor will need to out grapple Khabib or Max to be victorious. I am saying he will need to refine his grappling and utilize a different approach. A fight with Max will have t the same requirements. Most likely the majority of the action will be standing but when they hit the mats a different, more refined approach for grappling will be required.
All of these reasons make it not only a fight that makes the most sense but also a big fight. Conor could take a fight with the bagger at my grocery store and promote it as a big fight. However, true fans understand what constitutes a stepping stone, a tune up fight and a truly interesting match up that makes sense.
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