After Saturday’s remarkable beatdown of the previously unbeaten Brian Ortega in the UFC 231 main event, it would’ve understandable if Max Holloway wanted to brag a little bit.
After all, “The Blessed Era” now includes 13 consecutive victories, tying him for the second longest winning streak in UFC history. Not only is Holloway the sport’s top featherweight, but he has a legitimate claim to being the pound-for-pound No. 1, as well. But when it comes to his standing in history, the Hawaiian still defers to the man who preceded him in the division.
“I still believe the greatest featherweight of all time is Jose Aldo,” Holloway said at the UFC 231 post-fight press conference. “When I’m 30 or 31 or his age then you ask me if I’m the greatest featherweight of all-time if I’m still here.”
Holloway, currently 27 years old, owns a pair of third-round stoppages of Aldo, the man who once ruled the 145-pound weight class during an 18-bout winning streak that ran from 2006 to 2014. At least for now, the reigning champion believes he has more work to do before he can be ranked above the Brazilian in all-time greatest discussions.
“I’ve got to just keep winning, keep doing my job and keep winning fights and let you guys keep talking about it,” Holloway said. “Personally, for me, I think Jose still is. I’m chasing him. He set the bar, and I’m still chasing that bar, and I’ve got to break it. People are saying this is a new era. I guess I’m setting the bar for the new era. When ‘The Blessed Era’ is here, ‘The Blessed Era’ is going to be in full effect.”
Holloway has even loftier goals than greatest featherweight of all time. He wants to be known as the greatest fighter, period.
“At the end of the day I just want to be the pound-for-pound No. 1,” Holloway said. “I’m the champion, and I keep defending my belt, I’ll be No. 1. If it’s up a weight class, it’s up. If it’s defending my throne. If I get to fight one of my good friends, ‘The Daddest Man on the Plant’ [Daniel Cormier] for that title, bring it on Kung Fu Panda. I’ve got you, ‘DC.’ I can see him very soon.”