The winner is expected to face UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov, who is someone that Holloway wants to prove himself to.
“Khabib said he wanted to fight me, but he wanted me to prove myself,” Holloway said at the UFC 236 press conference (via Mike Bohn of MMA Junkie). “I got Dustin. April 13, I decided to prove myself. I’m going to go out there and prove myself, and when he’s ready to come back, I’ll be ready.”
Nurmagomedov is expected to return to action by November of this year, but nothing is set in stone at this time.
Holloway also isn’t worried about the litany of featherweight contenders he may have to face upon the eventual return to that weight class.
“After that Ortega fight I had to take some time personally and some business stuff, then they came to me with this fight in April,” Holloway said. “Can’t let it slip through your fingers. At the end of the day, first things first, I got Dustin Poirier, and we’ll talk to the UFC after that. I don’t think Frankie (Edgar) or Jose (Aldo) deserve a champ that’s not willing to defend for a year. After this one I could go back down in the summer. That would be fun. But first things first, April 13.”
UFC 236 takes place on Saturday, April 13 from the State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia with Max Holloway and Dustin Poirier headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.