Sounds like the ideal scenario, doesn’t it? Except for the fact that Holloway admits he’s usually on edge before he steps inside the octagon. But this time at UFC 218, before the first fight of the “Blessed Era,” things were different, as he explained Tuesday on MMAjunkie Radio.
“I was kind of nervous how relaxed I was,” Holloway said.
For Holloway, who just turned 26 on Monday, the feeling is part of getting comfortable with who he is as a fighter – and now as a champion. That showed in the pay-per-view headliner over the weekend, with Holloway scoring a second TKO win over Aldo to retain the 145-pound gold he claimed six months earlier from the former champ.
Consider these facts: Holloway extended his career-high winning streak to 12 fights, and he hasn’t lost since August 2013. Holloway became the youngest fighter in UFC history to earn 15 wins with the promotion.
And Holloway’s 12-fight winning streak is the fifth longest in UFC history behind Anderson Silva (16), Jon Jones (13), Demetrious Johnson (13), and Georges St-Pierre (13). Yes, those are the names Holloway is now among.
“It’s great to restore order back into the division,” Holloway said. “This is what kings do. Kings defend their thrones, and I’m glad I was able to defend mine.”
And he did it against a better version of Aldo than in their first fight, but that’s what Holloway was expecting all along.
“Before the fight, they released an article on (Aldo) talking about his motivation for the fight, and the motivation was his daughter. The daughter watched the last fight and so on, and he didn’t want to leave the bitter taste of that last fight in is daughter’s mouth,” Holloway said. “When I read that, I knew I was getting the best Jose Aldo. He was motivated.”
And as Holloway did following their first fight, he continued to show Aldo respect by heaping praise on the man who ruled the division for a decade.
“That guy shouldn’t worry. He should not worry,” Holloway said. “He doesn’t owe anybody anything. He’s the greatest of all time in my book. I believe Rio, Brazil should be celebrating him. In all the favelas, they should be making statues of the man. The man is a living, walking legend.”
To hear more from Holloway, check out the video above.
MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.
- Joe Rogan: Francis Ngannou can recreate 'Mike Tyson days' as UFC's next big star
- Stipe Miocic-Francis Ngannou heavyweight title fight targeted for UFC 220
- Ronda Rousey, WWE finalizing details of ex-UFC champ's move to pro wrestling
Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Max Holloway after UFC 218 title defense vs. Jose Aldo: 'This is what kings do … defend their thrones'