The challenger claims that if Holloway cannot make it to the event for any reason, a backup fighter will take the champions place, although the identity of that person has yet to be revealed.
“They say they have a replacement,” Ortega told MMA Junkie. “They haven’t said the name. I don’t know who it is. I don’t care. If it’s for the real featherweight title, count on me being there.”
Ortega wanted to make sure that there was a plan in place with the UFC because Holloway has pulled out of three straight fights.
“He’s been having a lot of issues,” Ortega said. “There was the Frankie Edgar fight where I stepped in to save that card (at UFC 222). There was the Khabib (Nurmagomedov) incident in New York (at UFC 223), where I offered to step in as well and (UFC President) Dana (White) said yes. Then he stepped in, and he couldn’t make that happen. Then there was ours at UFC 226, and he had to pull out again. I don’t know what’s going on with his health right now, or what’s happening with his camp. But now, I don’t care. Because it’s going to happen with or without him. I get what I want, which is a title shot.”
UFC 231 takes place on Saturday, December 8 from the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with Max Holloway and Brian Ortega headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.