Max Holloway has a remarkable legacy in the UFC, and he says that victory over “The Korean Zombie” will only add to his impressive career resume.
The former UFC featherweight champion takes on South Korea’s Chan Sung Jung, better known as “The Korean Zombie,” in the main event of UFC Singapore, and the Hawaiian said he’s excited to share the cage with another of the UFC’s featherweight fan-favorites.
“This is ‘Korean Zombie’ – (a) legacy fight in every sense of the way, I believe,” Holloway told reporters during media day.
“I look forward to it. If I can get a bonus out of this one, too, that’d be amazing.”
Holloway is away and clear as the top contender in the featherweight division. But, after three losses against reigning champion Alexander Volkanovski, he finds himself in a tricky spot as he looks to continue pushing his claim for another shot at the title.
Against “The Korean Zombie,” he’ll be facing a man who also lost out to Volkanovski, and knows that Chan will be desperate to bounce back after more than a year away from the cage.
“You’re only as good as your last fight in this sport,” Holloway explained.
“It’s not like basketball or baseball where you can have one off game (and) three days’ later, you’re playing in a game and you can go off. You have an off night, you don’t fight for three months, four months. If you’re lucky, sometimes sooner, but that’s like if you’re really lucky.
“But, at the end of the day, I believe if I was coming off my Volk fight, and he is coming off his Volk fight, this would be way different. The talks would be way different.
“I think the talks would be, ‘Is this a retirement fight for both guys?’ We’ll see what happens. I was blessed enough to have the Arnold Allen fight. I was in ‘Korean Zombie’s’ shoes for the Arnold Allen fight. Everyone was counting me out.
“At the end of the day, it is what it is. I pay no mind. I think it’s like one year and four months ‘The Korean Zombie’ is going to be out, so I’m expecting the best ‘Korean Zombie’ there is.
“He has one year and four months to be healed, get healthy, to get better as an athlete, to get better as a person, period. And he got to get all his affairs in order, and we’ll see, man. I think a dangerous ‘Korean Zombie is going to show up come Saturday night, and I’m looking forward to it.”
Holloway’s goal has always been the title, and he continues to demonstrate his class with his victories over the other top contenders in the division. His most recent win, a back-and-forth war with England’s Arnold Allen, showed that Holloway had lost none of his striking output or durability as he outbattled and outmaneuvered Allen en route to an impressive decision win.
Holloway admitted he’s not sure what could be next for him, as he instead keeps his focus firmly on the task at hand.
“We’ll see what happens. First things first is ‘Korean Zombie.’ At the end of the day, if you look at the rankings, I’m the number-one contender, and I’ve been busy,” he said.
“I’m over here fighting contenders, fighting (a) who’s who. Whoever it’s gotta be, whoever is up next, I know there’s been some talk about (Topuria), but we’ll see what happens. He just barely beat a guy who just lost to the champ. So I don’t know how that will shake out too much.”
And one reporter brought up a comment from a couple of years back, when “The Korean Zombie suggested Holloway didn’t carry power in his punches. Holloway shrugged a little at the comment being brought back up so long after it was originally said, but stated that any question marks over his power would be answered on fight night.
“Oh yeah, I heard that. I heard that comment,” he said.
“I heard him say that when he when it came out. Was that two years ago? That’s a long time. Two years is a long time, but yeah, I don’t know.
“(The) beautiful thing is we get to find out Saturday, you know? So, do I have punching power? Find out Saturday night!”