Max Holloway heads into UFC 231 to fight a man who has yet taste defeat in his professional career in the form of Brian Ortega. However, “Blessed” feels that his challenger’s résumé does not begin to approach his own.
During the UFC 231 pre-fight press conference Holloway was questioned about his dangerous opponent. The champ -- who is riding his own 12-fight win streak -- was quick to point out he’s actually the younger fighter and claimed to be “lapping” his opponent in terms of Octagon achievements.
“He’s good,” Holloway said. “He’s a dangerous man, but everybody keeps talking about Brian and this and that. Everything the guy did, I did better. He’s on what, a six-fight win streak? I got 12. He beat a champion? I beat two, and I beat one of them twice. So at the end of the day, the ‘Blessed’ express is going around in a circle. We’re lapping you, bro. And I’m younger than you, so congratulations.”
“T-City” didn’t appear too impressed with the comments from the champ and was asked for his response.
“Sometimes the best response is no response,” Ortega said.
“Sometimes you don’t have a response, so…” Holloway shot back.
“Someone is still delirious,” Ortega replied, a likely reference to Holloway’s still-unexplained medical withdrawal from their scheduled bout at UFC 226 in July. Holloway was forced to withdraw on the week of the fight, as he was suffering “concussion-like symptoms” whose cause has still not been diagnosed.
Whatever their differences, both fighters agreed that UFC 231 likely won’t be a one-off fight, as they’re clearly the two best men in the division, and both only 27 years old.
“He ain’t going nowhere and neither am I, and there’s no more room at the top,” Ortega said. “And like I said, no matter what happens, I don’t see him going down and spiraling down into a crazy thing, and neither do I see myself. So whatever happens, fall down, get back up, and then challenge each again. So, this is the beginning.”
“Me and him are (around) the same age,” Holloway agreed. “We’ll probably run into each other in a couple different weight classes. Who knows? If he wants to. Our backgrounds, Hawaiian and Mexican, we love food, so you might even see us be fighting for the ‘Daddest Man on the Planet’ one time, so who knows.”
Ortega said he hoped Holloway’s medical issues were behind him and that he would be fighting an opponent who is 100-percent healthy, rather than someone who feels like he has fight after a number of withdrawals from previous bouts.
“At the end of the day, I really do care about your health, and how you are and how you’re doing,” Ortega told Holloway. “I know you’ve got a son. Bullshit aside, I know we’re fighting and all of that shit, but I do hope you’re alright, he’s alright. For me, it ain’t cool if you step in there and you’re not physically alright or something’s going on. I wouldn’t want me to step in there, I wouldn’t want him to step in there, especially [because] you’ve got a family, I’ve got my family. So, like I said, I did worry about him. I do.
“I pray for you, swear to God,” Ortega added, “and we’re going to give you guys the show you deserve and [knocks on wood] nothing’s going to happen.”