At just 22-years-old, Max Holloway fights well beyond his years. While he displays a certain level of tenacity and heart in fights, he also shows an extremely measured and deadly pace which made him a fan favorite in just a small handful of fights. Now Holloway (7-3) will battle Will Chope in the final preliminary fight of the UFC Fight Night 34 card tomorrow morning in a battle that Holloway says he will look to finish impressively.
SciFighting caught up to Holloway as he sat in waiting in Singapore.
Adam Conklin: How is Singapore?
Max Holloway: Singapore is beautiful, I didn’t know it was gonna be that beautiful.
AC: How much better is it to have a full training camp given your reputation to step up on late notice?
MH: It’s great. I got to actually train for the fight. I got it on seven weeks notice and I got to do a lot of things different and we get to see how it pans out on fight night.
AC: How do you feel coming in to this fight?
MH: I feel great. Weight cut went great. Weight cut went easy. I’m on weight pretty much just counting down the hours that I can drink and eat again.
AC: Is there more pressure on you when you have a full fight camp given that you’re expected to be fully prepared, compared to the fights you took on late notice?
MH: I actually think having a full fight camp is easier. Even the short notice camps, there should be no reason to have pressure because I have time to get ready. The pressure on the short notice camps is like, did I do enough cardio, did I get enough in to be ready. But I never question myself because I know where I’m at and I know what I do in the gym. The only guy that questions himself when it comes close to [fight time] is the guys know there not putting enough in the gym. I know what I do and I know how to do it and it’s just awesome to have time.
AC: How does it feel being on this inaugural Singapore card as the ‘headliner’ of the prelims?
MH: It feels great. UFC always takes care of me, they always put me on cards, they always put in one of those premier cards. I once opened up a PPV card. UFC takes care me that way and its just awesome to be, like you said, the ‘main event’ of the preliminary card. Some people may not think its a huge deal but it’s a big spot and people tune in because it’s right before the main card.
AC: Do you feel good being a big part of the first event on the UFC Fight Pass?
MH: In this sport it’s all about followers, it’s all about putting people in the seats because of your fighting style, are you going to put people in the seats? I want to get a lot of Singapore fans and Asian fans and the more, the merrier. I get up there [and perform well] and the UFC will take care of me.
AC: Does it feel good fighting someone who isn’t the main attraction of the respective country such as Conor McGregor’s Irish roots were blended with the Boston crowd?
MH: I couldn’t care less. Even in that McGregor fight fans were harassing me, I cared less. I was fighting one guy, no one is gonna step in to fight for him, I’m fighting that guy across the cage. I was totally focused, I was ready for that fight. When it comes down to it, I have to put in my work.
AC: What would your energy levels be at coming out to a Hawaiian crowd?
MH: I’d be stoked. It would be crazy, I couldn’t put it in to words. It would be like my UFC debut, going from 0 to 200 [mph]. I’d probably have calm my nerves.
AC: How impressive do you want this finish to be to really rise in the rankings in such a stacked division as featherweight?
MH: Impressive. I want to be impressive. I’m not here to be an average fighter. I’m not here to be mediocre. [I want people to think] Max Holloway was one of the best. I want a big finish. It’s like any other fight, if you finish, you look great but I want something special. I try to deliver for the fans and I try to be a fan favorite.
AC: Not to say the fight with Conor McGregor was career defining but how does a potential rematch with him look, or would it be better for you to try and take on new competition as you continue your career?
MH: Whatever the UFC wants, I’m gonna do it. I’m under their banner and if I got a rematch, I think the best time for a rematch would be a couple years down the road and maybe we headline a card together. If he keeps on winning and I get back to my winning ways we could make the UFC some money.
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