Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight champion, Max Holloway, has been pulled from his UFC 226 pay-per-view (PPV) title defense against Brian Ortega, scheduled for this Saturday night (July 8, 2018) inside T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“Blessed” was hospitalized on Monday for concussion-like symptoms and released the following day. But the Hawaiian appeared to get worse, not better as time went on, so the decision was made to pull him from the bout and re-admit him to the hospital.
“Max’s team and UFC staff noticed Max was not normal since late last week,” manager Brian Butler-Au wrote in a statement provided to MMA Junkie. “This became obvious to many watching his interviews and public appearances the past few days.”
“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.”
No word yet on what the promotion will do with Ortega. This is the second time this year Holloway was ruled medically unfit to compete (not including this injury) and there is a solid chance an interim title could be in play either this weekend or in the very near future.
No question it will be difficult to scare up a worthy contender on such short notice and somehow get them through medicals (and on weight), but I would imagine there are enough people in “Sin City” during International Fight Week to pull off a Hail Mary.