Max “Blessed” Holloway has been UFC champion for only a matter of hours, but he already seems rather comfortable with that gold belt around his waist.
Even before he stepped into the Octagon on Saturday night, Holloway felt like he was the best fighter in the world at 145-pounds — he just didn't have the championship to prove it.
After outclassing former lightweight king Anthony Pettis and finishing the fight by TKO, Holloway was finally crowned interim featherweight champion, but he wasted no time turning his attention to Jose Aldo.
Aldo was named undisputed champion after Conor McGregor vacated the belt just recently and while Holloway sounded hopeful to meet him in a unification bout as early as February, he seemed less confidence while addressing the bout at the UFC 206 post-fight press conference.
“I said it in there in February and when everything was slowing down in the back I was thinking that I already had to give up Thanksgiving for this fight, had to give up my birthday and it's hard to find the guy, like I said. Where's Jose Waldo? Let me know when you find him. Team work [makes] the dream work. If more of us can look for him, we're going to find him together. We'll see what happens,” Holloway said about Aldo.
“I don't want to give up my son's birthday and Christmas for Feb. 11 and he doesn't show up. This guy has a knack for not showing up so we'll see what happens. I've got to talk to Dana White first, I've got a brunch that I want to sit down and talk to him and Sean Shelby and we can talk business.”
Holloway said that UFC president Dana White actually offered him the Aldo fight for UFC 208 in Brooklyn on Feb. 11, but he's just not sold that the longest reigning featherweight champion in company history will actually show up or not.
That's part of the reason why Holloway believes his win over Pettis should probably just make him the real, undisputed champion anyways. With 10 victories in a row, Holloway certainly has an argument that he's separated himself from the rest of the division yet Aldo is the one obstacle that remains in his way.
“This is my golden ticket. That mother (expletive) is always getting hurt and pulling out, it might as well have been the real belt,” Holloway said about Aldo. “Most true fans know the story. Conor's (McGregor) coach even said I'm the best 145'er in the world and then Jose's over here saying he wants to retire, unretire, then he gets the belt, now he has the belt, now he wants to go up a weight class instead of fight so I don't know.
“Most true fans know the storyline and most true fans said this should have been for the real belt.”
Speaking of McGregor, Holloway also addressed the now-former featherweight champion, who gave up the belt after knocking out Aldo in just 13 seconds last December. Holloway has always said he has unfinished business with McGregor after losing a decision to him back in 2013, which coincidentally is the last time he was defeated in the UFC.
As much as Holloway would love to avenge that loss, he's not going to go crying and begging for McGregor to return to featherweight to challenge him.
“I ain't over here begging for fights. If that guy wants to fight me, he can come fight me,” Holloway said towards McGregor. “I ain't going to beg. We've got so (many) guys on their knees begging to fight him. If he wants to fight me, he can come see me.
“If he wants to fight the best, you come fight 'Blessed'.”
One thing is for certain, Holloway is going to be a fighting champion regardless whether Aldo or McGregor ultimately end up as his next opponent.
Holloway wants to defend his title as often as possible and if Aldo isn't ready to go in the near future, then the 25-year-old Hawaiian says to start lining up the other contenders so he can knock them down one by one.
“I was looking out for Aldo, I thought he wanted to fight and this guy's saying he's the best in the world, come and prove it. I don't believe in guys waiting for title shots. That means that you're a (expletive), you don't believe that you're the best guy in the world,” Holloway said. “I believe I'm the best guy in the world.
“If I've got to defend this thing 10 times before I get the undisputed (belt) that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to prove to you guys, prove to myself and prove to everyone that I'm the best mother (expletive) walking on two feet and you guys are all going to witness it. This is the 'Blessed' show now and I'm taking over.”