Max Holloway Battled Depression After UFC 226

MMA

UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway was slated to defend the gold against Brian Ortega in the co-main event of UFC 226, but was pulled from the event due to having concussion like symptoms.

The champion didn’t just have to overcome some physical issues after UFC 226, but also had to battle some mental health issues in the form of depression.

Videos: UFC 262 Embedded Vlog Series Episodes 1 And 2

“It just helped me as a person realize that sometimes you gotta slow things down to get things back correct,” Holloway said on Good Show with Ben Ennis & JD Bunkis. “After this last one I dealt with some depression. I was talking about [NBA star DeMar] DeRozan. DeRozan talked about depression and that really shook me. He said that he wished that everybody was rich, that everybody in the world had money so they could understand that money does not make you happy. Depression is real and that really hit me hard. I was going through a phase where I wasn’t talking to no one. Only my son. Me and my son would do stuff but I was talking to no one. If I wanted to you I would call you but if people were reaching out to me I was putting myself away. Since I was in that situation, now I’m able to talk about it and I can tell people that’s not the way to do it. The way to do it is talk to your family, talk to your friends, be with everyone because you don’t know when things can change. Life changes on a dime so live life to the fullest.”

Holloway had pulled out of three bouts so far this year, having also withdrawn from UFC 222 and UFC 223.

When it comes to depression, if there is one piece of advice that Holloway would give, it would be to get help.

“Don’t be scared to look for help,” Holloway said. “Depression is real. It’s crazy and all these guys, us athletes, that keep thinking we’re superheroes. I like to think I’m a superhero but superheroes got to fight their demons too sometimes.”

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.

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