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Max Holloway upon learning he’ll replace Tony Ferguson



Longtime MMA supervisor Brian Butler heard a string of expletives from Max Holloway on Sunday when he handed on information of Tony Ferguson’s withdrawal from UFC 223.

Like most within the MMA world, Holloway (19-Three MMA, 15-Three UFC) was in full disbelief that Ferguson (23-Three MMA, 13-1 UFC) had injured his knee and was pressured out of his fourth reserving in opposition to Khabib Nurmagomedov (25-Zero MMA, 9-Zero UFC).

However for the UFC featherweight champ, disbelief rapidly modified to pleasure because the window of alternative opened.

“He mentioned, Let’s (expletive) go, bro,” Butler, Holloway’s longtime supervisor with Suckerpunch Leisure, informed MMAjunkie Radio. “That is how legends are made.”

A couple of minutes earlier, Butler was on the telephone to ensure one other sort of hurdle was cleared. With solely six days’ discover till the Saturday pay-per-view card at Barclays Middle in Brooklyn, N.Y., Holloway making weight was his largest concern.

Butler known as famous MMA nutritionist George Lockhart to relay Holloway’s weight and his bodyfat proportion.

“George ran the numbers, and he mentioned he 100 p.c might do it,” Butler mentioned. “I simply needed to ensure it wasn’t going to have any long run results, and George gave me his phrase that the numbers labored out.”

Butler declined to say how a lot Holloway presently weighs, however indicated it received’t be a straightforward journey to 155 kilos.

“Max is simply going to need to knuckle down, and we’re there,” he mentioned.

When Butler known as Holloway again later Sunday night time to relay the excellent news from Lockhart, he heard panting. Holloway was on the treadmill.

“We’re going to make it,” Butler mentioned later. “Max is feeling superb and really assured. Simply belief that Max is on an airplane to Brooklyn.”

The featherweight champ’s short-notice drop comes two months after he injured his ankle and was pressured to withdraw from a headliner in opposition to Frankie Edgar (22-5-1 MMA, 16-5-1 UFC) at UFC 222.

“He’s been therapeutic up actually quick,” Butler mentioned. “The reality is that he was therapeutic fairly effectively and he was coaching.”

Till Sunday, Holloway had been coaching for his subsequent featherweight title problem, a struggle in opposition to surging contender Brian Ortega (14-Zero MMA, 6-Zero UFC). The struggle had been focused for July at UFC 226.

However Butler mentioned Nurmagomedov has been on his consumer’s radar for a very long time. He cited a press convention for UFC 223 the place Holloway volunteered to step in on brief discover within the occasion that Ferguson or Nurmagomedov was injured.

“I knew if the chance was there, he would take it,” Butler mentioned. “My solely actual concern is that six days’ discover, if Max can really make the burden in a wholesome method.”

As for the monetary hurdles that may come up in short-notice PPV headliners, Butler indicated Holloway bought every thing he needed on that finish. For his save, the featherweight champ will definitely share in Saturday’s earnings.



Updated: April 3, 2018 — 6:02 pm

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