Before UFC on ABC 1, Max Holloway details meeting with Dana White on future

ABU DHABI – Max Holloway knows his work inside the octagon is the only way back to gold ahead of Saturday’s UFC on ABC 1 headliner.

Holloway (21-6 MMA, 17-6 UFC), a former longtime UFC featherweight champion, competes in his first non-title bout since June 2016 this weekend when he clashes with Calvin Kattar (22-4 MMA, 6-2 UFC) in a main event matchup.

After losing back-to-back title bouts against reigning 145-pound champ Alexander Volkanovski, Holloway is looking to find a way to retake his spot atop the mountain. It’s not often fighters get a third opportunity when they’ve lost to one person twice, but Holloway said a meeting with UFC president Dana White prior to accepting the matchup with Kattar gave him a better idea of his journey moving forward.

“We just want to see what was going, what the road looked like, and he pretty much said what he said,” Holloway told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. “He said, ‘Go out there and keep working, kid, and we’ll see what happens (for a title shot).’ We’ll figure it out. We always do. All I can control is what I do in the octagon, and come Saturday night I’m going to go do my job and then I got a manager to control all those things outside the octagon. He’s going to have to do his job after Saturday night, but first things first, I’ve got to go out there and do my thing and show the world what’s up.”

UFC on ABC 1 takes place at Etihad Arena. Holloway vs. Kattar headlines the main card, which airs on ABC and streams on ESPN+ following prelims on ESPN+.

Although Holloway’s recent record shows three losses in his past four fights, he knows that each was competitive, and in title fights. Still, though, some have speculated about whether the Kattar matchup is a crossroads contest.

Holloway said he doesn’t see it that way. In fact, he views the upcoming bout with Kattar as a fresh start.

“I’m 0-0 no matter what,” Holloway said. “That’s what it is. Calvin is a very dangerous guy. I can’t get too ahead of myself. He’s standing across from me. He worked his way to be across the octagon with me for a reason. At the end of the day I respect him a lot, but we get to find out what he’s about come Saturday.”

The last time Holloway dropped consecutive fights came in 2013. He responded in incredible fashion, stringing together a 13-fight winning streak (tied for second longest in UFC history) that included winning the interim title, undisputed title and recording multiple title defense.

Past success gives Holloway great hope for his future, and he’s looking for a new streak to begin at Kattar’s expense.

“If it’s another 13-fight win streak, then why not? But let’s make it like 14 or 15 so we’re not tied with other people,” Holloway said. “There’s records I still want to grind for, and there’s records that I have that I want to make it hard for people to get to. At the end of day we just working hard, and I put my nose in the dirt and just keep working hard.”

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