Sunday, December 03, 2017

Since the beginning of mixed martial arts, many members of the MMA hardcore fanbase have been concerned that a decline was imminent, due to the retirement of established stars. With Ronda Rousey retired in all but name, and Conor McGregor never having defended a title, MMA today is shy a few stars. However, ones have always evolved. UFC 218 may be seen as the moment The Next Big Thing arrived in Francis Ngannou and as well was Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway rise high.

At the post-fight press conference, Holloway was all class, explaining that Aldo has nothing to prove to anyone.

“I recently heard Jose Aldo’s motivation for the fight was his daughter and me being a parent with my son, I get it,” said Holloway, as transcribed by Adam Guillen Jr. for MMA Mania. “But that guy has to know he doesn’t have to owe anybody anything, you know. That guy is one of the greatest of all time and I think Brazil should be building statues of him in all of the favelas, man. He’s a legend, he’s a GOAT and I got a lot to fill.”

“After the first round I walked up to Anik and Rogan and told him he’s tired already. I dropped my hands and told him to punch me. I dare him to punch me. He landed some shots but mines seemed to hurt him a little more. Everything went my way tonight, but likes said the guy is a GOAT and nothing but respect to him, his family and all of Brazil.”

Holloway also looked forward, potentially at a rematch with former featherweight and current lightweight champion Conor McGregor. The pair bickered on Twitter.

But Holloway did not sound wedded to a fight with Notorious.

“I still don’t know if Conor will ever fight again, so I’m rolling like he’s not,” said Holloway to ESPN, as transcribed by Aaron Gallagher for “If Conor comes back and defends the title, anything is possible. I’ll gladly fight him. If the Conor fight doesn’t happen, it’s not on my side.”