Max Holloway is looking forward to renewing rivalry with Dustin Poirier for the interim lightweight title at UFC 236 on Saturday.
Holloway suffered the first defeat of his career to Poirier at UFC 143 in February 2012 but the current featherweight champion, who is moving up a division for the bout, has won 13 consecutive fights and insists revenge is not something he was looking for.
However, having been approached by the UFC to fight Poirier he is ready for the challenge and believes he is a complete different fighter to the one that lost in 2012.
"The best way to describe it is, like, me right now, I would kill that guy. I would literally put him in a cemetery. There is a cemetery down the road from my house. I'd probably go visit him every day," Holloway told reporters at UFC 236 open workouts.
“If it (a rematch) happened, it happened. If we cross paths, we cross paths. I didn’t spend too much time thinking about it. People dwell on the past and say, ‘You got to get this one back.’ I don’t care. I don’t care if I got it back. But our paths cross. OK, cool. We get to do this again, we get to run it back."
The winner of Saturday's bout could meet Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed 155-pound title later this year but for now he is focusing on Poirier and he is confident of victory.
“I feel great,” Holloway said. “The energy is great, training was great, we going to find out. We get to find out Saturday. Performance going to be great.”
Some have questioned Holloway's step up to lightweight, but Poirier is keen not to be drawn on the decision to select the featherweight champion over other potential opponents.
“The guy is obviously a reigning, defending world champion. Stopped (Jose Aldo), arguably the best 145-pound champion of all time, twice. He has been looking incredible every fight and put it all together, but to jump up and skip the line in a top-heavy division is a little different. But timing, availability, circumstances, and here we are," Poirier said.
Holloway defeated Brian Ortega in December but Poirier is confident he will be too strong for his opponent.
“Ortega’s a great fighter, but I can crack. I’m going to throw a lot more volume than Ortega did, as well," he added. "I’m a high-paced fighter, I push the pace, I push the cardio, I push the energy in there. I try to finish these guys. I go in there not to win rounds, not to point guys out. I go out there to hurt these guys and get them out of there. We’ll see what happens Saturday night, and I’m going to take him out.
“I’m going to win Saturday night. A lot of people want predictions; I say it’s going to be a tough fight. This might be the best fight anybody’s ever seen. I don’t know. This is going to be a gruelling fight, I believe, and he’s going to be in there with no quit as am I. I don’t know a prediction, but I feel like I’m going to stop him.”
UFC 236 featuring Holloway v Poirier 2 is live in the early hours of Sunday, 14 April live on BT Sport 1 on the eir sport pack. Subscribe here
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