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30th Jan 2019

Max Holloway has given an absolute masterclass in how to set up a red panty night

If this doesn't set up a rematch with Conor McGregor, nothing will

Darragh Murphy

That’s how it’s done folks

Max Holloway doesn’t need a Conor McGregor rematch but he definitely wouldn’t say no to the guaranteed payday that comes when you share the Octagon with the biggest superstar in mixed martial arts.

McGregor remains one of the most dangerous fighters in the world but he is always going to be the subject of more call-outs than anyone else just due to his unprecedented drawing power.

We’ve seen Nate Diaz’s infamous “you’re taking everything I’ve ever worked for, motherfucker!” Eddie Alvarez took a different approach when he followed up his UFC lightweight title win by begging for “an easy fight like Conor McGregor.” And most recently, Donald Cerrone claimed he was just waiting for McGregor to accept his challenge, which the Irishman seemingly did earlier this month.

Many believe that Cerrone makes the most sense for McGregor’s next outing but surely we have to reward the creativity Max Holloway displayed on the UFC featherweight champion’s trip to Ireland last weekend.

Without mentioning McGregor by name, ‘Blessed’ took plenty of shots at the Dubliner over the past few days and endeared himself to many Irish fans in the process.

Holloway’s first port of call was to fire a subtle dig at McGregor’s new business venture, his Proper 12 whiskey. The Hawaiian visited the Jameson Distillery in Dublin and in his praise for Ireland’s most famous spirit lay veiled criticism of McGregor’s rival brand.

“238 years of innovation, hard work, and unmatched quality. Not a watered down trend,” Holloway wrote.

“A true pillar of Ireland, supporting the hard working families in Dublin for generations. Thank you Jameson for the hospitality. The number one Irish whiskey in the world.”

Then it was time to get Irish fight fans onside while simultaneously hinting at a potential venue for his much-discussed rematch with McGregor.

Holloway took a trip up to Croke Park, where he learned about the history of the GAA and its significance in Irish culture, praising the experience of learning about “sportsmanship in Ireland”, which could be read as a reference to McGregor’s divisive trash-talking tendencies.

With those two social media posts, Holloway could have rested easy, content that he had accomplished what he’d set out to do during his trip to these shores.

But then McGregor left himself open to one last dig when he accidentally referred to St. Paddy’s Day as “St. Patty’s Day” in a since-deleted promotional post about his August McGregor collection of suits on Monday.

After being called out for using an unpopular way of referring to the March 17 holiday, McGregor quickly deleted the tweet and replaced it with the more commonly used spelling, St. Paddy’s Day.

But a lot of people noticed and it would appear that Holloway was one of them, as he closed out his final post about his trip by suggesting he could return on St. Paddy’s Day, spelling it the right way at the first time of asking.

Take a bow, Max Holloway.