UFC 231 went down from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, last night (Sat. Dec. 8, 2018), featuring a main event scrap between Featherweight champion Max Holloway and Brian Ortega that ended between rounds when the cageside physician waived off the fight. Doctor stoppages can be controversial, but there was little argument on this one. Ortega’s left eye was nearly swollen shut in the fourth round after Holloway hit him 141 times, smashing UFC;s record for most significant strikes landed in a single round.
The ridiculously tough Ortega seemed fine after the loss, but was taken to the hospital to be checked out for precautionary reasons. At the post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White praised the decision to call off the fight.
”I wanted them to stop that fight going into the fifth round,” White said (video via MMA Fighting). “I was hoping that either the referee or the corner would stop that fight. That fight needed to be stopped. For all of us in here that have been in the fight game for a long time, that’s what you call, ‘Too tough for your own good.’”
”I believe he could have done the fifth round, I believe he would have done the fifth round. But, it should never have happened. That fifth round should never have happened and I’m glad it didn’t. He’s a young, talented guy and I think going into that 5th round would have been very bad for him, health wise. Fourth round wasn’t good for him health-wise, and definitely not the fifth round. So I commend the doctor here in Toronto for stopping that fight, he did a great job.”
The 27-year-old Ortega was actually a slight favorite going into his first title fight. And while he had his moments, it’s doubtful anyone will be clamoring to see him challenge for the belt again so long as it’s still wrapped around Max’s waist.
Fortunately for “T-City,” Dana White is putting some serious pressure on “Blessed” to drop the featherweight title and move up to 155, where “a lot of big money fights” await.
For complete coverage of UFC 231, click here.