A few hours ago, Max “Blessed” Holloway has officially withdrawn from his scheduled UFC 226 title defence match against Brian Ortega.
The report was confirmed by ESPN with a statement from Holloway’s manager, Brian Butler-Au, saying “Max’s team and UFC staff noticed Max was not normal since late last week,”
Holloway is said to be having concussion-like symptoms, causing him to be admitted to a local hospital last Monday night.
The featherweight champ felt better the next day and insisted to remain in the fight. However, his condition got worse on Wednesday prompting the team to finally withdraw him from the card.
But, this isn’t the first time
This incident is actually the third time Holloway has been out of a UFC fight. One instance was during his upcoming defence against Frankie Edgar at the UFC 222, which was brought about by a leg injury. Shortly after that, Holloway was supposed to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 but he pulled out the day before due to his weight cut.
Recent UFC match mishaps
This news about the withdrawal of Holloway isn’t also new to UFC. There have been recurring pullouts from the UFC within the year.
During the preparation for UFC 225, Yoel Romero pulled out from a fight with middleweight champ Robert Whittaker – which resulted in a non-title fight.
While in UFC 223, Tony Ferguson vs Nurmagomedov was cancelled due to Ferguson’s knee surgery.
In February, UFC 221 was held in Perth, Australia, wherein Whittaker was supposed to fight against Luke Rockhold. However, Whittaker was pulled out of the bout due to his illness.
Romero took over and knocked Rockhold out, but was unable to claim the interim middleweight belt because of missed weight.
Read the full statement of Holloway’s management regarding the withdrawal from UFC 226:
“Max’s team and UFC staff noticed Max was not normal since late last week,
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 over night. Initial scans seemed okay 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.”