UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway is out of UFC 226 due to concussion-like symptoms.
Holloway was supposed to defend his belt against challenger Brian Ortega in the co-main event, but according to reports, the Hawaiian slugger… did not look well this week.
This isn’t the first time Holloway has been pulled from a fight at the last minute. In fact, earlier this year Holloway had stepped in for an injured Tony Ferguson to take on Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight belt, but the New York State Athletic Commission yanked him because they didn’t like how he looked while cutting weight.
If Holloway was indeed acting sluggish and slurring his words prior to UFC 226, then pulling him from the card was definitely the right reason. It sucks for Ortega, but safety is far more important.
UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway has been forced to withdraw from UFC 226 just days before the card.
“Max’s team and UFC staff noticed Max was not normal since late last week,” Holloway’s manager Brian Butler told ESPN via a prepared statement. “This became obvious to many watching his interviews and public appearances the past few days.
“He was showing concussion-like symptoms before he even started his weight cut and was rushed to the ER on Monday where they admitted him overnight. Initial scans seemed OK, and he was released Tuesday afternoon, but symptoms still continued.
“Max fought with his team to continue with the fight. He showed some improvement over the next day but was still showing obvious symptoms. After open workouts, he crashed and was very hard to wake up; when he did, he had flashing vision and slurred speech.
“He is now back in the ER for further tests.”