UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway is out of his UFC 226 title bout with Brian Ortega due to health concerns surrounding a possible concussion.
UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway is out of his UFC 226 title bout with Brian Ortega according to a statement from his management team via Ariel Helwani.
According to the statement, Holloway began showing “concussion-like symptoms” leading up to the fight and his team noticed that the featherweight was acting “not normal” in pre-fight interviews and appearances.
He was rushed to the ER on Monday, where he was admitted overnight but released the next day when his MRI came back fine. Holloway wanted to fight and even attended open workouts but grew much worse following the event and is currently back in the ER according to his management team.
He was gearing up to face Ortega in the co-main event of UFC 226 on Saturday. There is no word if the UFC will try to find a replacement for Ortega or if another fight will be bumped up into the co-main slot instead.
Concussions have become a serious concern since the discovery of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) which is a degenerative brain disease caused by repetitive brain trauma. It’s undetectable in living patients but can cause mood changes, suicidal and violent tendencies and memory loss, and many serious symptoms. Many gyms have limited hard sparring because of this.
Holloway won the UFC interim lightweight title when he defeated Anthony Pettis at UFC 206 and later won the undisputed title when he defeated José Aldo at UFC 212. He defended the title when he faced Aldo a second time at UFC 218.
UFC 226 takes place on Saturday, June 7, 2018, live from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. The main event is a heavyweight title fight between UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic and UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
Neither the UFC or Holloway has commented on the news at press time.