Max Holloway has been medically cleared to resume training and has offered to serve as a backup for the featherweight division’s next title fight, sources close to Holloway told ESPN.
The former champion received medical clearance on Thursday, sources said. Holloway, of Waianae, Hawai’i, was briefly scheduled to challenge Alexander Volkanovski for the 145-pound title on March 5 but was forced to withdraw from that fight with an undisclosed injury.
At the time of the injury, there was no firm time frame for Holloway’s recovery. Sources said the 30-year-old actually aggravated a previous injury, and the team needed its due diligence to ensure the condition did not worsen.
Meanwhile, the UFC has elected to move forward with a title bout between Volkanovski and Chan Sung Jung at UFC 273 on April 9 in Jacksonville, Florida.
Now that he’s been cleared to train, Holloway (23-6) has informed the UFC he is willing to weigh in and serve as a backup in that fight, should anything happen to defending champion Volkanovski (23-1) or Jung, aka Korean Zombie, (17-6). According to sources, the UFC is aware of Holloway’s offer but has not made an official decision on his proposal. It has become a relatively common practice for the UFC to back up its high-profile title fights on pay-per-view events.
Holloway is universally considered the No. 2 featherweight in the world, behind Volkanovski. The two have fought twice previously. Volkanovski, of Australia, defeated Holloway via unanimous decision in 2019 and split decision in 2020. Both contests were extremely close.