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05th Jul 2018

Max Holloway hospitalised, forced to withdraw from UFC 226’s co-main event

Absolute disaster

Ben Kiely

Max Holloway

Max Holloway is out of UFC 226 after being admitted to hospital.

UFC 226’s co-headliner between Max Holloway and Brian Ortega was described by the challenger as the ‘biggest fight in featherweight history since Conor and Aldo’.

The challenger, an undefeated BJJ phenom who has never heard the final buzzer in his seven bouts inside the Octagon. Ortega earned his crack at the belt by turning Frankie Edgar’s granite chin to rubble inside the first round. Remarkably, ‘the Answer’ was the easiest fight of his career.

The champion, a man who’s riding a 12-fight win streak. Holloway is the only man to defeat Jose Aldo, the consensus greatest featherweight of all time, twice. He scored back-to-back knockout victories against ‘Scarface’ in his last two trips to the Octagon.

This 145 lb featherweight title bout was supposed to play second-fiddle to ‘the superfight’ between the winningest heavyweight champion in UFC history, Stipe Miocic, and arguably the greatest fighter to ever grace an Octagon not named Jon Jones, UFC light heavyweight king, Daniel Cormier. Unfortunately, in the wee hours of Thursday morning, it was announced that Holloway was removed from the card for medical reasons.

Max Holloway

“Max was not normal since late last week.”

Holloway’s withdrawal was first reported by CBSsports. ‘Blessed’s team provided a statement on his status to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. According to them, Holloway was showing ‘concussion-like symptoms.’ It is understood the issues had nothing to do with his weight cut.

“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 fews 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.”


According to Brazillian outlet Combate, Ortega was offered some last-minute replacements. However, it is understood that he wants to wait for his shot at Holloway. Several reports suggest the fight could be rebooked for UFC 227’s main event, Holloway’s health permitting.

This isn’t the first time Holloway has pulled out of a fight in 2018. He was originally scheduled to fight Edgar at UFC 222 in March. However, a leg injury a month out forced him out of that contest. In April, Holloway was ready to step in to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the vacant lightweight title on a week’s notice. That time Holloway was deemed unfit to continue his weight cut the day of the weigh-ins.