With Holloway booked, what are the matches to make at 145-pounds?

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There are many questions to be answered in relation to the UFC featherweight division.

Max Holloway is moving up to the lightweight division to challenge for the interim championship against Dustin Poirier. There were questions as to what was next for Holloway, now we have the answer to that question.

With his moving up, there is plenty to wonder what will happen in the featherweight division, does Holloway stay at lightweight? Does he move back down to featherweight? The show must go on at 145-pounds with or without the champion.

Here are some of the fights that need to happen in Holloway’s absence.

 

The featherweight fights to make with Holloway gone

With featherweight champion Max Holloway moving up in weight to fight Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight title, what does that mean for the featherweight division? In the chance that Holloway wins, does he sit out and wait for Khabib Nurmagomedov to come back? Would Holloway have to vacate the 145-pound title to defend the lightweight title? Will he go back down and defend the 145-pound title? There are so many things that can happen. Holloway’s decision will definitely put a hold on the featherweight division no matter what he decides. Here are a few fights that should be made while Holloway is away.

Jose Aldo (#1) vs Alexander Volkanovski (#4)

This fight was recently booked for UFC 237 which will take place on May 11th in Jeunesse Arena, Barra da Tijuca Brazil. Both of these men are elite fighters in the featherweight division. Aldo is a legend in the sport entering the twilight of his career looking to finish out the remainder of his UFC contract with fights in Brazil. It may well be the farewell tour for Aldo. Since his two loses to Holloway, Aldo is on a two-fight win streak, both wins coming by way of TKO over Jeremy Stephens and Renato Moicano. In the other corner, coming of a huge win of Chad Mendes, Volkanovski is riding a big wave and would be looking to keep the momentum going against another legend at featherweight. This fight will solidify the true number one contender for the title and it could possibly determine who will be booked for an interim title.

Cub Swanson (#7) vs Yair Rodriguez (#11)

After scoring one of the greatest knockouts in UFC history by defeating the Korean Zombie, Chan Sung Jung, Rodriguez is once again riding the hype train. Yair is looking to jump up in the featherweight rankings as he currently sits at #11. This would be an amazing matchup against Swanson and it could be an all-out war. Both fighters have amazing technique striking and in their ground game. They are two of the top prospects in this division today and would be sure to show up on fight night. Swanson has almost taken on the role as the gatekeeper to the elite level of the division, so let's put Yair to the test.

Mirsad Bektic (#8) vs Josh Emmett (#9)

These are probably two of the most underrated fighters in the featherweight division. Bektic vw Emmett would be a huge fight, these are two of the most skilled men at 145-pounds and both are going to be future champions in my opinion. Emmett has been out of competition for some time since his knockout loss to Stephens, where some people believe there were illegal shots. Bektic would be a great fight for Emmett to come back to, they match up very well, and Bektic is riding a two-fight win streak. A fight with Emmett would be great for him and could help both of them move up in the ranks. Book it, Dana!

Chan Sung Jung (#12) vs Calvin Kattar (#15)

This is another great high-paced fight that would be great for the division. Kattar is almost perfect in the UFC with his only loss coming to Renato Moicano. Kattar is an amazing fighter, he is a guy who owns his own promotion and almost gave up fighting to focus on it. This was until the UFC called. He is the future of the division along with Rodriguez and Zabit Magomedsharipov. Kattar really doesn't have the same hype that some other ranked fighters do, but if you come to Massachusetts and ask who Calvin Kattar is, every fight fan will know. Kattar getting a win over a big name like Jung would be huge for his popularity and rise in the rankings. Jung is coming of a knockout loss to Rodriguez in a highlight that will be remembered for a long time. Fighting a guy like Kattar is risky but I do believe Jung is better at the moment. Both fighters would have to bring everything they have and more to beat the other. This is a great fight on paper.

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Follow our writer Hiram Alvarado (@hiramwritesmma).



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