Holloway withdrew from the co-main event after being hospitalised because of what his team described as “concussion-like” symptoms. His featherweight title fight against Brian Ortega was one of the most awaited bouts in the UFC 226.
During the press conference of UFC 226 on Thursday, White said that he discussed the matter with UFC Vice President of Health and Performance, Jeff Novitzky, and neither of them had no idea about Holloway’s condition.
“It’s a weird situation,” White said. “I was talking to Jeff Novitzky in the back, and there’s a couple of different. Some people think it’s concussion-related and some people think it’s weight cut-related, so they haven’t really got down to the bottom of what it is. But according to him, he feels fine but obviously, he’s not fine. So we’re going to continue to try to figure out what’s wrong with Max Holloway.”
“In the meantime, there’s no way that this guy is going to fight anytime soon.”
Make It Three in a Row for Max Holloway
This year has been a tough year for Holloway. He has been pulled out from his fight for three times in a row, for various reasons. 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.
And a few days before UFC 226, he was reported to have concussion-like symptoms which caused him another possible winning record. Nonetheless, White says he’s willing to do everything to make sure Holloway receives all the medication he needs to get better.
“We’re running him through every test there is. … He needs to go to the Mayo Clinic or one of these types of places and do a full — yes, we will take care of Max Holloway, and he’ll go through every type of testing there is until we can figure out what’s wrong with him,” White said.
Possible Replacement for Holloway on UFC 226
Ortega was left with no opponent for UFC226, so the press asked White if he would remain on the card. White confirmed the rumours that Jeremy Stephens was prepared to replace Holloway even on short notice, but Ortega decided not to join anymore.
“Literally, Jeremy Stephens will not stop blowing me up, he wants this fight so bad, he said he’ll take it on short notice, ” White said. “He’s cutting weight already with the hopes that Ortega will accept the fight. Ortega has turned down the fight, so I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”
White also confirmed that Frankie Edgar also volunteered to take over, but the former UFC lightweight champion’s family didn’t agree.
Watch the full video of the UFC 226 Press Conference below:
The UFC President admits that he still hasn’t figured out how to prevent these kinds of situations in the future, as there has been a series of pullouts with almost every UFC event recently.
But given that UFC is a sport that requires a lot of physical strength, it’s inevitable that fighters would sometimes experience fatigue.