We lost out on one of MMA’s most highly anticipated matchups in the lead up of UFC 226’s fight week. But in the end, it was for fighter safety.
Showing concussion-like symptoms prior to his showdown with Brian Ortega, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway was removed from the card.
Exactly what was wrong with Holloway has yet to be specified. But Holloway gave us some clarity today when speaking with ESPN.
“Monday I got conned by the UFC and my team to go to the ER,” Holloway recalled the situation, “I was told that they had a van waiting for me downstairs and we were gonna do more media. And we ended up in the ER *laughs*
I see a lot of people in the media talking about weight cut, stroke or whatever. I’ve grown up in front of everyone’s eyes here in the UFC. This wasn’t a weight cut [issue], I made weight 20-plus times. You guys have been there through the hard weight cuts, the easy ones to the hard training camps, you guys have been there through everything and this wasn’t it. This wasn’t a weight cut thing. It was weird. I don’t know how to explain it.”
Being the true warrior that he is, Holloway was still down and begging to fight his dangerous opposition in Ortega.
As heroic as it was to want to pull through, it just wouldn’t have been wise and the UFC and Holloway’s team knew that.
With Ortega still firmly next in line, Holloway says he has an idea of when he would like to be able to get back in the Octagon.
“I was begging them to fight. I was telling them I’m fine, I was saying anything and everything to get in there and do the walk. I wanted to fight. We put in a camp and I just wanted to fight. It’s been a wild 2018 for me but we’re not done yet.
They put me on medical suspension for like 30 days now, we’re taking it slow. They still didn’t figure out what was wrong but everything’s coming back good and they’re just being cautious with me right now. We should get back to business hopefully before the end of the year.”
Holloway’s last fight came at UFC 218 in December when he defended his title for the very first time by TKOing Jose Aldo in the third round of their rematch.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 7/30/2018