UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway did his best to save the day after Tony Ferguson pulled out of his lightweight title fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov at April 7’s UFC 223, but weight cutting issues prevented him from doing so.

After medical officials deemed him unfit to compete, Holloway is moving on and looking forward to his next fight, which he’s hoping will take place at the blockbuster UFC 226 event this summer.

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Holloway last defended his belt against Jose Aldo for a second time at UFC 218 late last year, and since his removal from UFC 223 wasn’t injury-related unlike his UFC 22 withdrawal a month prior, ‘Blessed’ is ready to go.

The obvious candidate for Holloway’s next title defense is Brian Ortega, who replaced Holloway and knocked out the always-durable Frankie Edgar at UFC 222.

Holloway (19-3) is gunning for a spot on UFC 226 on July 7, which will feature a super fight between light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier and heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic.

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Holloway would have had the chance to win the lightweight title if his weight cutting hadn’t prevented him from taking on Nurmagomedov, who ultimately took on Al Iaquinta and defeated him to win the interim UFC lightweight strap.

How does Holloway vs. Ortega at UFC 226 sound to you?

Matt McNulty is a writer & reporter for LowKick MMA. He has previously worked as a staff writer for BJPenn.com, a crime and MMA reporter for the New York Post, and also as a general assignment reporter for the New York Daily News. McNulty has professionally covered MMA since 2013.