Max Holloway is all set for the main event spotlight at the UFC’s first show of 2021, but it’s the main headlining next weekend at UFC 257 that he’d love to be facing in the future.

Holloway takes on rising contender Calvin Kattar at UFC on ABC 1 on Saturday night, but said he’d love to one day get back into the octagon to face a man he took on early in his UFC career, Conor McGregor.

“People consider him one of the best in the sport today,” he said.

“And I can’t wait. As a competitor, I would love to [face McGregor again].

“That’s one of the fights that intrigues me. We fought a long time ago, and he knows that, too. But like I said, first things first: we got Kattar and then we figure it out after this.”

Holloway lost out on the scorecards to McGregor when they first fought in Boston in 2013, and he recalled the crazy atmosphere generated by the Irish fans that night.

“I remember when I was standing there [waiting to walk out for the fight]. This guy – there’s Irish flags everywhere – and he’s telling me, ‘you’re gonna die!’ and I was like, ‘Whoa! OK!’

“So it was a good time and you could tell [McGregor] has an effect on people and he did his thing.”

Holloway is looking to get back in line for a title shot again after losing his belt to Alexander Volkanovski, then controversially losing the rematch via split decision. Now he knows only a big performance will suffice as he looks to put himself in contention once again.

“I’m just excited, man,” he said.

“I found out that we have fans, I found out that we were on ABC, and I found out that I’m the first main event in the new arena. So there’s a bunch of pluses, and I can’t wait.

“Fighting is fighting, and I can’t wait to go there Saturday night and do my thing.”

While Holloway may be primed and ready for his fight against Kattar, he admitted he’s also really looking forward to McGregor’s main event bout with another of Holloway’s past opponents, Dustin Poirier, at UFC 257 the following weekend.

“That’s a big fight. That’s a huge fight,” he said.

“At the end of the day, Dustin is always motivated for a fight, and Conor is very motivated – you’ve got shaven-head Conor! It should be a wild fight!

“As a fan, that fight is very intriguing, and I think is going to be big. I think it’s going to be huge. It’s the first pay-per-view of the year, so it’s going to be a fun fight.”