UFC featherweight title contender Max Holloway has hinted he is ready to take on Jose Aldo or Frankie Edgar in his next bout, with a fight against Conor McGregor looking unlikely.
Holloway told Submission Radio (h/t Jesse Holland of MMA Mania) he is ready to "prove his worth" if he gets a shot at fighting former champion Aldo, but he will wait and see if UFC wants him to challenge Edgar in order to get a title shot:
I think it'd be one for the ages. Jose likes to fight, I like to come and fight and stand up and he likes to stand up. So I think it'd be a fun one. I think it would sell a lot of numbers too, a lot of tickets. So we'll see. I'm just waiting to see what UFC wants. If that's the fight they want and that gets me closer to a title shot, why not? I'd love to get that fight too. Frankie Edgar is another big name, and I think if can get a win over his name, it definitely helps my title shot stuff. Me and him are like the contenders right now inside the 145 division, and you know, it's up in the air who gets the next title shot. So I'd love to fight him, you know, earn my way. They want a big fight inside of UFC Hawaii, you know, there's only two fights or three fights. It's going to be Conor vs. Holloway, Edgar vs. Holloway or Aldo vs. Holloway. That's the only three fights that are big enough, I think, that we can bring down to Hawaii and do it.
Holloway is on an eight-fight winning streak in MMA and is a credible threat to the reign of McGregor. However, he has already been defeated by the champion in his last loss, as McGregor scored a win in 2013.
The Hawaiian fighter took the Irishman to the scorecards on the night, and he is the only man in MMA to take McGregor the distance in 21 contests, per Holland.
Holloway cruised to victory against veteran Jeremy Stephens at UFC 194, displaying the full range of his Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt qualities. He scored a unanimous win (30-27, 30-27 and 29-28) against the complicated opponent and continues to prove he is one of the planet's hottest fighters.
Sports reporter Mike Bohn highlighted how consistent Holloway has become:
Edgar is a good pairing for Holloway after UFC President Dana White lauded The Answer. Speaking with Ariel Helwani on Fox Sports 1's post-fight show (h/t Michael Stets of MMA Mania), Edgar claimed White said he will be the next challenger for the featherweight title after beating Chad Mendes by knockout at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale: "I just got out of the room with Dana and I got good news. He says I got it [a title fight]."
If Holloway can continue his efforts of the the past two years and defeat Edgar, he will force a rematch with the Notorious One.
Aldo would be a difficult bridge to cross, even with no title on the line, and the former champ could stop his progression to the top of the hill as he looks for revenge in the 145-pound division.
McGregor looks unstoppable at present, but styles make fights. Holloway has already proved he can take the champion the distance, and he could have the game plan to shock the Irishman and steal the strap from his waist.
Holloway might not have the box-office qualities of McGregor or Aldo, but he has the brutality and tactics in the Octagon to beat any opponent.