UFC Kansas City: Max Holloway Says Watching Adesanya Win “Was Inspiring,” Still Motivated to Be Champ

Kansas City — Featherweight great Max Holloway feels he’s still in the mix for the title at 145lbs.

“I’m still here, bro. I’m still here, I’m right here, right in front of him,” Holloway (23-7) told media outlets including Cageside Press during Wednesday’s UFC Kansas City media day. “Blessed” headlines the event opposite Arnold Allen, and he’s heard the doubts about landing a fourth fight against champ Alexander Volkanovski, after three fights against the Australian that did not go his way.

“Watching Izzy [Israel Adesanya] last week was pretty inspiring,” Holloway added. Given it’s MMA, “at the end of the day, anything can happen. Anything can happen. I go out there, I put a statement out there, and who’s to say what happens?”

Adesanya, of course, finished rival Alex Pereira at UFC 287 in Miami this past Saturday. While two of the pair’s fights had come in kickboxing, “The Last Stylebender” entered the fight 0-3 against Pereira nonetheless — no doubt something that strikes a chord with Holloway, being down 0-3 against Volkanovski.

What Holloway has in mind now is to make a statement. “I’m just reminding people. I guess I got a little Roy Jones in me right now. ‘You all musta forgot.’ I’m hearing everybody talking, hearing the critics, hearing the media, hearing all the social media people talking, and I just can’t wait to go out there and show out.”

Despite having experimented with a move to 155lbs in the past, Holloway has no plans to make the jump currently.

“Lightweight is there. Me and my management was talking, and we actually talked before this fight. I feel like if they thought that we couldn’t make an Alex 4, they would have probably pressed our hand and pressed us hard to be like ‘look you should go to 55’ and that wasn’t the case,” stated Holloway. “At the end of the day, we get to see but 55’s not the case. It’s there, it’s always there, I know I can jump there, I can jump there tomorrow if I wanted to. It’s always great going up for the belt.”

This Saturday, Holloway has a fight with the surging Arnold Allen, who is on a 12-fight win streak, with ten of those wins coming inside the UFC octagon.

“I think he’s an animal, man. You’ve got to be 10-0 for a reason. He’s standing across from me for a reason,” Holloway replied when asked about the Brit. “I’ve been there, I’ve been that hungry guy, 10-0. I’m hearing all the talks and this and that, saying I’m old and stuff. I think I’m only two years older than him! People keep on calling me a vet, vet, I’m a vet, I love being a vet but I’m literally only two years older than this guy. A lot of guys keep talking about, they bring up the damage point, but we get to see. He has a lot of questions, I have a lot of questions and we all get to have answers come April 15.”

One thing is clear ahead of UFC Kansas City: Max Holloway still has some lofty goals in MMA.

“If being a champion wasn’t my motivation, being the greatest wasn’t my motivation, why would I take this fight? If I was in it to just fight or even get money grabs, I would take the easier fights,” he exclaimed. “I’m fighting the guy who they’re talking about is next in title contention, a lot of guys thought that he should have got the interim title [fight].”

Watch the full UFC Kansas City media day appearance by Max Holloway above.