It’s crazy who you can run into at Whole Foods these days.
UFC featherweight Max Holloway was just on a simple weight-cutting, healthy-food-nabbing shopping trip. And bam – there was the guy he’ll have to be throwing hands with in a few days.
Holloway (7-1 MMA, 3-1 UFC) ran into his UFC 160 opponent, Dennis Bermudez (10-3 MMA, 3-1 UFC), shortly after getting to town. And though they’ll be enemies for 15 minutes on Saturday, for a few minutes in the grocery store, things were all good.
“I just saw Dennis for the first time ever in Whole Foods (Tuesday),” Holloway told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “I shook his hand, I told him what’s up, and I said, ‘Let’s go get that bonus come Saturday.’ He said he likes the way I think, so hopefully we can come up with some type of a bonus in that fight. He’s a cool guy.”
Holloway and Bermudez fight on the preliminary card of UFC 160, which takes place at MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Their prelim fight airs on FX ahead of a main-card broadcast on pay-per-view.
With both fighters riding three-fight win streaks in the 145-pound division, it may not be a fight to determine the next top contender, but it certainly would put the winner well on the way up the ladder to the types of fights that could get him there.
Even with a lot at stake, Holloway said there’s no reason to have any animosity toward his opponent.
“We’re going to fight, and there’s no reason to hate each other today,” he said. “Some fighters need that push – ‘I need to hate this guy.’ This is business, and it’s not going to change anything. Maybe not watch a movie (together). After the fight, you want to hang out? Let’s go.
“But when push comes to shove, we’ll see who will be the shover.”
Holloway has shoved his way Pat Schilling, Justin Lawrence and Leonard Garcia since dropping his UFC debut with a late-notice fight against Dustin Poirier at UFC 143. A win over Bermudez, the Season 14 featherweight runner-up on “The Ultimate Fighter,” would clearly be his biggest win yet.
And that’s something the 21-year-old has been thinking a lot about lately. With a wife and young son at home in Hawaii, and bills to pay, wins – and their accompanying bonuses – are of the utmost importance for his young family.
“A win over Dennis Bermudez is going to be huge,” Holloway said. “It’s surreal. It’s a crazy feeling … living my dream and being able to support my family doing what I love and not being at a dead-end job where I hate waking up every morning. I’ve got a wife, I’ve got a little boy at home. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Things happen for a reason and I just love to accept the challenge.”
Holloway said those thoughts are what push him at the gym when he’s training for someone the likes of Bermudez.
And regardless of Saturday’s outcome, that’s a push he doesn’t seem prepared to stop making thanks to the desire to take care of his family.
“It gives me a little more push inside the gym,” he said. “When I start questioning if I want to go do something, I think of my wife and my little baby boy, and I think of the bills we’ve got to pay. I’m like, ‘This needs to be done.’
“It’s a humongous push for me to be that much better.”
For the latest on UFC 160, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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