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Max Holloway on Twitter exchanges with Conor McGregor: 'This guy's been picking on me'

Max Holloway won’t allow himself to be bullied by fellow UFC champion Conor McGregor, and he said he doesn’t care how MMA fans react to that.

Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC), the UFC’s reigning featherweight champ, has one of MMA’s stronger social-media presences, and he routinely posts items that range from comical to thoughtful, which has gained him a certain level of admiration.

An example was his message to Frankie Edgar following his knockout loss to Brian Ortega at UFC 222. Edgar was supposed to fight Holloway at the event, but when the champ dropped out due to injury, “The Answer” agreed to stay on the card and fight a replacement. When he lost, Holloway sent a classy message, but McGregor (21-3 MMA, 9-1 UFC) apparently wasn’t into it (via Twitter):

Holloway didn’t immediately reply to “The Notorious.” But just days later, news broke that McGregor was being featured in a new Burger King commercial promoting chicken sandwiches. That’s when Holloway pounced, and he reminded the Irishman that his UFC lightweight belt is on the verge of being stripped ahead of the UFC 223 main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov (via Twitter):

“He’s been taking shots at me,” Holloway told MMAjunkie. “Go tell all his fans, tell the whole world that he’s been taking shots at me. Then the one time he throws an underhand pitch – that’s a juicy ball, that chicken thing – no one was going to take it up? You’re crazy if you think ‘Blessed’ is going to let that slide. Your boy is going to slide in and let you know.

“This guy’s been picking on me. It’s like the school ground when you’re at school. If you ever get bullied, when you get sick of it, you turn around and you punch the bully in the face, and they don’t say anything. That’s what happened. It’s all right. I could not let that slide. I was giving a chance to everyone. No one was doing it, so ‘Blessed’ was going in.”

After Holloway posted his replies to McGregor, he said he received a healthy amount of negative feedback, largely from McGregor fans. He said some fans interpreted his reaction as an attempt to get a fight with McGregor, who was the last man to beat Holloway – at UFC Fight Night 26 in August 2013. The Hawaiian has cruised since then, though, by winning 12 consecutive fights en route to his title win.

Holloway said his current priority is defending his title as many times as possible. A chance to avenge his loss to McGregor is certainly something that’s appealing for the future, but Holloway said it’s not what he’s pursuing now. He said he wanted to set the record straight for anyone who doubted that.

“He can tweet me, Conor can tweet me, and no one gives him (expletive),” Holloway said. “Then I hit him back, and people are like, ‘You’re begging for a super fight.’ He’s tweeting me! What the hell? But people are always going to choose their sides. I wasn’t asking for a super fight. I got a loss. I’ve got three losses, and I want them all back. Right now we just got the division somewhat rolling. We’ve brought clarity to the division. I’ve got a belt to defend. I’ve got a championship to show the world.

“I’ve got a throne to sit on and defend and show the world I’m the one. When I get pushed to 155 (pounds), we’ll see what happens. But for now my focus is on 145. I definitely think of 155 fights, but until I’m forced up there or the UFC tells me they want me up there, I’ll go. But right now it’s about keeping the 145-pound weight class in check and keep everything rolling and keep everything smooth.”

For more on the UFC schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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