BREAKING | Max Holloway breaks silence on UFC 226 removal, responds to Nurmagomedov and McGregor

Max Holloway

Earlier this week, unfortunate news struck the mixed martial arts world when ESPN announced that current UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway had been forced out of his scheduled UFC 226 title fight with Brian Ortega.

“Blessed” was hospitalized due to concussion-like symptoms and thus removed from this weekend’s highly anticipated UFC 226 pay-per-view fight card.

Max Holloway (19-3 MMA) has not competed inside the octagon since defeating Jose Aldo in their rematch this past December at UFC 218 in Detroit.

This marks the second time in a row that the Hawaiian champion has been forced out of a scheduled fight.

Back in April, “Blessed” was slated to fill in as a short-notice replacement against current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 but was eventually pulled from the bout after being deemed medically unfit to compete.

Max Holloway recently took to social media where he issued the following statement regarding his removal from UFC 226.

“It was what it was,” Holloway began. “Respect to Ortega and his team. Thank you [Dana White] and the [UFC] staff for making my health priority. Also thank you to [Jeremy Stephens] and [Frankie Edgar] for being about that champ life and stepping up. I see you. To all the fans I know this rollercoaster can be frustrating because my team is also on it with you. All I can say is I’m truly sorry and I hope you guys stay buckled in because it is far from being over. Don’t let the bad surprises distract you from the good surprises in this great sport. The best is still blessed.”

Holloway also responded to UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov and former champ Conor McGregor, who both wished him well after his UFC 226 withdrawal.

“Thank you my brother,” he said to Nurmagomedov. “I know you know what it is because your whole team is champions. Peace be with you.”

“Thank you champ champ,” he said to McGregor. One of the best minds in this game said we win or learn. This is learning for me. Hope to see you back brother.”

When do you think we’ll see Max Holloway back in the UFC’s Octagon? Do you think his latest withdrawal warrants the creation of an interim title? Join the debate in the comments section below.

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/5/2018.