What Max Holloway will do on Saturday is the toughest thing you can do in combat sports, take a fight on short notice. What makes his fight even more impossible is that he will face Khabib Nurmagomedov (25-0). Khabib is the kind of fighter that will break you and take your soul, just ask Edson Barboza. Khabib’s smothering top game is a weapon that no one has be able to counter in his twenty-five fight career It’s arguable that Holloway would have a slim chance against Nurmagomedov with a full training camp to prepare. There isn’t a scenario in my mind where Holloway comes out the winner in this fight. Whatever Holloway manages to do to Nurmagomedov, it will more than likely end up with him staring up at the arena for twenty-five minutes. Holloway does offer elite striking skills that Nurmagomedov hasn’t seen before but, at the same time, Holloway’s trademarked cardio will be in serious question after not training for months and coming off of foot surgery.
If anything this fight will be fascinating to watch its the classic “striker vs grappler” match up. Nurmagomedov most recently defeated Edson Barboza in what could be a very similar fight on Saturday. Holloway defeated Jose Aldo is his most recent fight that was quite similar to his first encounter with Aldo at UFC 202. Holloway has a chance to become a dual weight champion, something that hasn’t been accomplished since UFC 205 when Conor Mcgregor defeated Eddie Alvarez for the UFC Lightweight Title.
Nurmagomedov has had his issues cutting weight in previous bouts and Holloway is cutting a lot of weight, also. It will be interesting to see where the two fighters weigh in at on Friday morning after all the Conor McGregor chaos on Thursday.