Max Holloway on why he took UFC 300 fight vs. Justin Gaethje: ‘You wait in this sport, the sport goes by you’

Max Holloway has no regrets fighting Justin Gaethje at UFC 300.

Holloway (25-7 MMA, 21-7 UFC) challenges BMF champion Gaethje (25-4 MMA, 8-4 UFC) in a lightweight bout on April 13 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

With Holloway and Gaethje pegged as the next title challengers in their respective weight classes, many questioned why this fight is even happening. However, Holloway says he wasn’t about to sit on the sidelines.

“There’s a lot of people talking about, ‘Oh, this fight is crazy. Why are you guys doing this fight?'” Holloway said on his YouTube channel. “‘Why? Why, Max? Why don’t you just wait for (Ilia) Topuria? Why don’t you just wait?’ Not a lot of people know: This game, it goes by you fast, man. It goes by you quick. Nothing is promised. How many times do we see someone promised a title shot and it never happened?

“How much time do you see someone fight for an interim title shot and it never happens? Me and Gaethje were the next guys respectfully up in our title shot, correct? But how many times does that work? It doesn’t work all the time. So with the Topuria thing, everybody keeps saying, ‘Oh, you’re the next one.’ It’s like, am I really?”

After Alexander Volkanovski lost his featherweight title to Ilia Topuria at UFC 298, former champion Holloway had an inkling that an immediate rematch is on the horizon.

“I thought this whole time that if Topuria was to beat Volk in any way, Volk gets a direct rematch,” Holloway said. “Volk did enough work to earn himself a direct rematch. And everybody’s like, ‘Oh yeah, but after the knockout (he shouldn’t get a rematch),’ and blah, blah. Volk still earns it. He still earns it. He did what he did. He has a bunch of title defenses.

“Just because he went up a weight class and lost, I don’t think it should affect him at his own weight class. So at the end of the day, I always thought that if Topuria won, no matter what, I would still be waiting because Volk would get a direct rematch. And with the Gaethje situation, it’s like who knew that Charles (Oliveira) was going to get a bad cut, and Islam (Makhachev) couldn’t turn around and fight?”

In hindsight, Holloway thinks he made the right choice by opting to take the Gaethje fight over waiting his fate in the featherweight title picture.

“You wait in this sport, the sport goes by you,” Holloway said. “And it goes by you quick. So all you can do is stay busy, you know? I am blessed with the opportunity to be in this situation with with Justin Gaethje.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 300.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie