Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega at UFC 226 is off.
The news broke last night (Wed. July 4, 2018) with the reason for “Blessed’s” pull-out was due to concussion-like symptoms. Now Ortega has been removed from the UFC 226 card altogether.
The news shook the mixed martial arts (MMA) community, not only because of the fact that one of the most highly anticipated fights of the year was called off – but due to the severity of Holloway’s condition.
Helwani reports that Holloway’s team noticed the featherweight champion hasn’t been the same since last week. Prior to even starting his weight cut, it was noticeable that something was up with “Blessed” as he made the media rounds giving various interviews to promote UFC 226.
He continued to show concussion-like symptoms before being admitted into a local ER on Monday. He was kept overnight but was subsequently released after tests showed everything was seemingly okay. While he was showing some improvement over the next day, he was still also showing obvious symptoms. At one point, after open workouts, Holloway took a nap and his team found it hard to wake him up. When he finally did he had flashing vision and was slurring his words.
It was later announced that he had pulled out of his UFC 226 co-main event meeting against Brian Ortega. Many fighters took to Twitter to react to the news, showing their support for Holloway and sending their best wishes in regards to his health.
One Tweet, however, stuck out amongst all the rest – Conor McGregor’s. “The Notorious One” took to his account today (Thurs. July 5, 2018) and issued out the following:
“My thoughts and my respect are with 145-pound world champion Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway.”
My thoughts and my respect are with 145lb World Champion Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway.
— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) July 5, 2018
McGregor and Holloway have a bit of history with one another. The Irishman defeated the Hawaiian back in 2013 via unanimous decision. Holloway has not lost a fight inside the Octagon since. McGregor eventually went on the defeat Jose Aldo to win the featherweight title but would later depart the division to compete at lightweight and welterweight.
In his absence, Holloway picked up a pair of wins over Aldo himself en-route to winning 145-pound gold as well. He remains the featherweight champion of the UFC as of this writing.