For over a year now, UFC president Dana White has been the biggest proponent of UFC featherweight champ Max Holloway moving up to 155 pounds.
Sure, Max sounded okay with whatever the UFC decided, but for the most part he put a premium on racking up defenses at 145 pounds. Now that he’s had a taste of lightweight power against Dustin Poirier at UFC 236 (watch the highlights here), that’s probably what the UFC will leave him alone to do.
“It’s crazy, what I didn’t expect is he looked small at 155,” White said during the post-fight press conference. “So I look forward to him going back to 145.”
That’s pretty much a 180 from what White was saying after Holloway’s rousing win over Brian Ortega at featherweight.
“I think he needs to go to 155,” he’d said. “He’s too big for this weight.”
We didn’t get to hear what “Blessed” had to say in retrospect about the move up, because the UFC sent him directly to the hospital to make sure he was okay. Poirier pieced him up, and while it was by no means a one sided contest, Max took 153 punches to the head and they landed with force from the bigger, more powerful Poirier.
“We took him straight from the octagon to the hospital,” White said. “I told my guys I don’t want him doing any interviews. Take him straight to the hospital. He’s tough, he’s awesome, but I’d like to see him at 145 pounds again. Poirier looked much bigger than him in my opinion.”
Bad news for the guys at 145 pounds … if Holloway isn’t stuck in a strange twilight zone between weight classes and can still cut down to featherweight without issues.
What do you think, Maniacs? Can the “Blessed” Era survive this bump in the road?