UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway was forced out of a title defense against Brian Ortega at UFC 226 due to a myriad of health issues.
While UFC President Dana White doesn’t exactly know what the problems are for Holloway at this point, one thing he does know is that Holloway won’t be fighting for some time.
“It’s a weird situation,” White said at a UFC 226 press conference. “I was talking to Jeff Novitzky in the back and there’s a couple of different — some people think it’s concussion-related and some people think it’s weight cut-related, so they haven’t really got down to the bottom of what it is. But according to him he feels fine but obviously he’s not fine. So we’re going to continue to try to figure out what’s wrong with Max Holloway. In the meantime, there’s no way that this guy is going to fight anytime soon.”
The featherweight champion would take to Instagram to issue a statement on the UFC 226 withdraw:
It was what it was. Respect to Ortega and his team. Thank you @danawhite and the @UFC staff for making my health priority. Also thank you to @lilheathenmma and @frankieedgar for being about that champ life and stepping up. I see you. To all the fans I know this rollercoaster can be frustrating because my team is also on it with you. All I can say is I’m truly sorry and I hope you guys stay buckled in because it is far from being over. Don’t let the bad surprises distract you from the good surprises in this great sport. The best is still blessed #blessyourself
UFC 226 takes place on Saturday, July 7 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.