LAS VEGAS – Max Holloway knew that after his masterclass win over Calvin Kattar, he could have just waited for a title shot. But the former champion doesn’t possess that type of mentality.

Although many scored Holloway’s second fight with UFC featherweight champion Alexander Volkanovski in his favor, the “Blessed Express” had every intention of keeping the train rolling.

Holloway (22-6 MMA, 18-6 UFC) may be risking his No. 1 contender spot when he faces another streaking contender in Yair Rodriguez (13-2 MMA, 8-1 UFC) on Saturday at UFC Fight Night 197, but he’s not one to shy away from a challenge.

“There are a lot of guys at the elevator that try and go straight to the top,” Holloway told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at Wednesday’s media day at the UFC Apex. “Since the UFC don’t have a tournament structure, there’s a lot of guys at the elevator and the line is super long. I ain’t about the elevator life. You can find me at the stairs. I’m running up and down that bad boy, wherever we’ve got to go.

“The UFC did tell us that we didn’t have to take it. But I sat down with my coaches, we all looked at each other, we all agreed: We’re not elevator divas. We’re going to get out there, we’re go going to do it and we’ll get the damn thing done. If you believe you’re the best fighter in the world, that’s what you should be doing. You’ll end up fighting anyone, anytime – everyone, every time, everywhere.”

UFC Fight Night 197 takes place Saturday at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. The card streams on ESPN+.


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