Current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Featherweight champion Max Holloway is still on the mend after he was forced out of his title defense against Brian Ortega a few weeks ago at UFC 226.
Though there were several theories floating around as to what was actually wrong with “Blessed” ranging from bad weight cut, water poisoning, concussion and even possible stroke, nothing was ever confirmed as to what grounded the 145-pound kingpin.
In one of his first interviews since the incident, Max spoke to The Ariel Helwani MMA Show to give an update on his current health condition and to dispel any rumors of what exactly went down.
“I didn’t suffer a concussion at all. I wish the answer was that simple. It would be easier to move forward if we knew what happened,” he said (via Pundit Arena). “The word ‘stroke’ never came up. When the rumors came out my first thought was that it was clickbait. I never thought I wasn’t going to fight again. That never ever crossed my mind,” he added.
According to Holloway, he was “conned” into going to the emergency room by his team, as they informed him a van was waiting to take him to his media duties, when in fact it was all a setup to force him into the emergency room. And though he was a bit bothered at first, he acknowledges his team had his best interest at heart.
“I’m a fighter. I wanted to fight. When they were telling me to go to the emergency room, I was begging them to let me fight. Hell, when I was doing interviews, there’s some the UFC didn’t even drop because I was horrible in them.”
An interview that did drop was on “UFC Tonight” in which Michael Bisping called “Blessed” out for his “sleepy” state. A few weeks removed from the UFC 226 fallout, Max says he has seen several doctors and UFC specialists, and though they still can’t come to a conclusion as to what happened to him, he is confident he is better now and will continue with his combat career.
“I’ve seen multiple doctors and experts, but they haven’t been able to give any answers about what happened,” Holloway said. “But I’m OK. I’m going to fight again. That’s all we know,’ he said (via ESPN) while acknowledging he was placed on a brief 30-day medial suspension to be cautious.
“All of the tests were great,” Holloway says. “When you hear those kind of things, it’s great but yet scary. You want to know what’s wrong. It’s crazy we just don’t have the answers. I’m just glad I’m healthy and OK.”
Moving forward, Holloway plans on returning to action before the year is out and defend his 145-pound belt against Brian Ortega. Assuming UFC doesn’t take it away from “T-City.