Max Holloway’s seventh consecutive Ultimate Fighting Championship victory may have been the most anticlimactic of his professional career.
That won’t stop him from exploring the possibility of capitalizing on the situation to secure a major opportunity in his next fight.
The featherweight contender was awarded a TKO victory in the main event of a card in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, on Sunday night when Charles Oliveira was injured during a grappling sequence just more than a minute into the fight.
Holloway celebrated the win before realizing Oliveira was being placed on a stretcher.
At the postfight news conference, Holloway lobbied for a fight against top contender Frankie Edgar.
“UFC works in mysterious ways. I’m sure they’re going to find something for me,” Holloway said, before suggesting the organization bring a card to his home state. “Let’s get UFC to Hawaii, and what better fight than Holloway vs. Edgar in a stadium? It would be huge.”
Edgar accepted through a Twitter post, though he had a more specific date in mind.
“I got called out by Max Holloway and Jeremy Stephens,” Edgar posted. “I will fight either on (Dec.) 11. Let’s make it happen.”
That would put the fight on the UFC’s scheduled card in Las Vegas the night before UFC 194 is headlined by a featherweight title unification bout between champion Jose Aldo and interim champ Conor McGregor.
It makes a lot of sense in that either Edgar or Holloway would be in position to fight the winner of the title bout. Perhaps even more importantly, it would get Edgar on a training camp schedule that would allow him to step in if Aldo or McGregor get hurt during training.
Oliveira, meanwhile, is still awaiting an official diagnosis on the injured he suffered Sunday. Reports that he suffered a partially torn esophagus could not be independently confirmed. According to a statement issued by UFC officials, Oliveira is in “good spirits after a series of tests” and expects to be released Tuesday.
Oliveira told MMAFighting.com the injury was a recurrence of an issue he thought had been resolved during training camp.
“I injured my neck in training, but did physical therapy and thought everything was fine,” Holloway said. “But when I fell against the cage everything went numb, I couldn’t feel my body. I’m still doing a lot of exams here at the hospital.”
He hopes to get another chance against Holloway down the road.
“I trained really hard for this fight,” Oliveira said. “I would like a rematch because there was no fight. I got (injured) literally the first time I attacked.”
Also on the card, welterweight Neil Magny earned a split decision over Erick Silva, and Patrick Cote knocked out Josh Burkman in the third round of a welterweight bout.
JOHNSON APOLOGIZES — UFC light heavyweight contender Anthony Johnson apologized for a social media rant directed at an unnamed woman with whom he allegedly had a verbal dispute at the gym over where she was practicing yoga.
“I’m man enough to admit when I’m wrong and yesterday I was absolutely wrong,” Johnson wrote on his Facebook page about the lengthy original post in which he referred to the woman as the “ugly girl in the gym built like a bag of dried dog food,” among other insults.
He also claimed to have thrown her yoga mat across the room.
The UFC issued a statement on its website that it had commissioned an independent investigation into the matter. As a result, the UFC decided Monday night that Johnson would undergo counseling and make a donation to charity.
“Johnson personally apologized to the woman he verbally offended at a Florida gym last week and for the insensitive comments he made on social media afterwards,” the UFC statement said. “The woman accepted Johnson’s apology and indicated a desire to put this unfortunate matter behind them.”
It’s not the first time such an action was initiated. Johnson was suspended indefinitely last year while the UFC investigated the merits of a domestic violence charge against Johnson that had been filed and dropped. Johnson was reinstated in November.
Johnson last competed in a title fight against Daniel Cormier in May when he lost by submission in the third round. He is expected to face Jimi Manuwa at UFC 191 on Sept. 5 at MGM Grand.
WOMEN’S TITLES ON LINE AT UFC 195 — Women’s strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk will defend her title in the co-main event of UFC 195 at the MGM Grand Garden on Jan. 2.
Jedrzejczyk is likely to face Claudia Gadelha, but an injury to the potential challenger is delaying official confirmation of the opponent. Gadelha is expected to be ready, however.
Jedrzejczyk owns a split decision win over Gadelha last December before she took the belt.
The card will be headlined by Ronda Rousey’s bantamweight title defense against Holly Holm.
LIGHTWEIGHT BOUT SET — UFC lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov will fight Tony Ferguson on “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 22 Finale card Dec. 11 in Las Vegas. No venue has been announced.
Nurmagomedov has been out since April 2014 with several injuries. Ferguson has won six fights in a row, including a decision over Josh Thomson in July.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at email@example.com or 702-224-5509. Follow him: @adamhilllvrj