Conor McGregor’s victory over Jose Aldo at UFC 194 was his seventh consecutive featherweight triumph, tying him for the longest active winning streak in the division.
The fighter who shares that lofty position with him? That would be none other than Max Holloway, who outpointed the heavy-handed Jeremy Stephens in a featured 145-pound tussle at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday night. Holloway has actually won eight straight fights in the Octagon, but one of those, a third-round stoppage of Clay Collard in August 2014, came at a catch-weight.
Of course, the young Hawaiian’s last defeat came at the hands of the newly-minted featherweight champion, back when the McGregor phenomenon was still in its infancy. In hindsight, Holloway’s decision loss to “Notorious” at UFC Fight Night in August 2013 looks better and better by the day.
“They got this guy going around with the belt that no one can handle his left hand,” Holloway said at Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “If you watch our fight, one guy fell down and his name wasn’t Max Holloway, so I’ll leave it there.”
It’s worth mentioning that McGregor tore his ACL during that bout, which caused him to shift gears and resort to a takedown-oriented approach to dispatch Holloway. Despite that fact, it’s hard to overlook that Holloway is the only McGregor foe in the UFC to make it to the final bell.
For now, Frankie Edgar appears to be next in line to challenge for the featherweight crown. McGregor could also move up to lightweight to pursue a championship opportunity there. Either way, Holloway believes he should be in the discussion when he comes to any discussion of 145-pound title contenders.
“Look, [let’s do] Holloway vs. McGregor 2 [at] Croke Park [in Ireland]. I think we sell that thing out. I’m the one guy that actually gave him a fight,” Holloway said. “If he moves up, Edgar vs. Holloway, UFC Hawaii. We can get one back for B.J. Penn. Whatever happens, whatever Dana White and them want, I’m ready. I’ve been winning.
“Me and Conor lead the division in wins right now, so why not? If he leaves, I’m [good] with Frankie.”