UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway successfully defended the gold against former champion Jose Aldo in the main event of UFC 218.
Conor McGregor is the UFC Lightweight Champion and he has expressed an interest in fighting retired boxer Paulie Malignaggi in an MMA bout, which has drawn the ire of Holloway.
“I’m a champion in my division, and I’ve got to keep it everything rolling. I’ve got a throne to defend, and I’m not going on a hiatus. As long as I get contenders, I’m going to fight, but if UFC called me for that, I’ll gladly fight him,” Holloway said after UFC 218. “If the Conor fight don’t happen, it’s not on my side, I’ll tell you guys like right now. It’s on their team. Their team talk about me all the time. That I’m the best guy in the world, this and that — but right now, really think about this. Conor is talking about Paulie Malignaggi... in MMA. Let that sink in. Paulie Malignaggi in MMA. I don’t know what to say after that.”
Holloway and McGregor have fought before, with McGregor earning a decision win at UFC Fight Night 26 in August 2013.
For Holloway, the focus isn’t on the UFC Lightweight Champion right now because the focus is on his reign as featherweight champion.
“Right now, I’m focused on champ life. I want to be a long reigning featherweight champion. I want to be known in the history books — my name everywhere — as a champion,” he explained.
McGregor’s rivalry with Malignaggi began over the summer when the camp of the UFC Lightweight Champion posted images of the Irishman dropping the retired boxer during a sparring session.