UFC: Max Holloway Explains What Sets Champions Apart From The Rest

At only 29 years old, Max Holloway is considered by many as the greatest featherweight of all time. After losing to Conor McGregor in 2013, ‘Blessed’ went on a fourteen fight win streak at 145lbs, which included winning the title and three successful title defences.

Throughout its history, the UFC has provided a platform to thousands of fighters to exhibit their talents, but only a small percentage of athletes have made it to the very top.

“Crazy Land”

Speaking on ‘The Joe Rogan Experience’ podcast (as transcribed by Bloody Elbow), Holloway explained what sets champions apart from the rest.

“On paper, you put down my stats, no one’s gonna pick me in a fight,” Holloway said. “‘What the f*** is this guy? F***ing next!’ But then, there’s that mental part and that heart part that you can’t measure. And that’s that ‘Crazy Land’ part. People don’t know what the f*** ‘Crazy Land’ is.

“If they see this guy, like, ‘Oh, OK, he got a passport to Crazy Land, but these are his stats, out of them, like threes.’ And this is the guy [he’s fighting], he’s got all nines, maybe a couple of tens in there, but he don’t have a passport to Crazy Land. Like, ‘F*** Crazy Land, this guy is great!’ And then you go in there and find out that most of the time, the guys with the passport to Crazy Land, they’re crazy. They figure it out.”

The Mental Side

Holloway continued by saying that every fighter in the UFC has the skills to make it to the top, but it’s the mental side that determines how successful they are.

“There comes a point where like you’re pretty much good. Everything gets you by, you got here already. But now, the only thing different that’s gonna get you to the top 15 is mental,” Holloway elaborted. “And then from 15 to 10, the only difference between those guys is mental. And then from ten to five, same thing. And then from champion and everybody else, it’s a mentality thing. This has something to do with IQ. That’s the only thing that changed.

“We’re all good. We’re all at the mecca of fighting. The UFC is where everybody wants to be. But what makes me a champion and you not? Something’s got to be it. You can lift more weights than me. If we’re the same weight class, you’re stronger than me, you’re faster than me. What is the difference? I believe it’s that passport to Crazy Land, it’s that mental. I’m willing to do something that I don’t know if you even thought of doing, or if it’s presented to you, if you’re gonna take that chance.”

Holloway is coming off a dominant unanimous decision victory over Calvin Kattar at UFC Fight Island 7, and expects to challenge the winner of Alex Volkanovski vs Brian Ortega, scheduled for the UFC 260 co-main event.

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