UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway has been pulled out his bout with Brian Ortega, just days before this weekends UFC 226 card.
First reported by Ariel Helwani of ESPN, Holloway had been showing “concussion-like symptoms” since last week and was rushed to the hospital on Monday as a result.
In a statement provided to ESPN, Holloway’s manager Brian Butler outlined the 145 lbs champions health:
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 overnight. Initial scans seemed OK, 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.
He is now back in the ER for further tests.
It is still unconfirmed whether Brian Ortega will remain on the card and face a replacement opponent but the number one contender posted a brief statement on Twitter that “it is what it is. We’ll run this s*** later.”
It is what it is. We’ll run this shit later. pic.twitter.com/Ua1q4k4okR
— Brian Ortega (@BrianTcity) July 5, 2018
With Holloway suffering from apparent serious symptoms, ‘Blessed’s’ removal from his fight marks the second time in a row he has been forced to be removed from a bout during fight week. Holloway had been expected to take on Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 but was deemed ‘medically unfit’ to continue his weight cut after accepting the fight on short-notice.