UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway was moments away from weighing in for a bout against UFC Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223, but the New York State Athletic Commission deemed him unfit to compete and the fighter was pulled from the card.
With that fiasco a thing of the past, a refocused Holloway now wants to defend the featherweight title against Brian Ortega and he would like to do it in July.
“Dana called me on fight day and told me, ‘It’s alright, kid, we tried’ and ‘thank you for trying everything’ and ‘onto the next one’. So Brian Ortega is up, hopefully we can get on that July card,” Holloway said on The MMA Hour. “I’ve been asking. I see everyone talking about that July card. I’ve got to get back business at 145, but if UFC call again for 155 for that thing with Khabib, that would be fun.”
The UFC currently has two events on the calendar for July, which are the UFC Ultimate Fighter 27 Finale and UFC 226.
One huge reason Holloway wants to fight in July is that if all goes well, it would give him a chance to fight on the annual Madison Square Garden card this November.
“Madison Square Garden, we’ve got to try this one more time, that’s what I want to do. Fans are talking about it, I hear you guys want this fight a lot and they were tweeting me right after I got pulled. A lot of guys were saying, ‘Let’s see that fight [Holloway vs. Ortega] back on UFC 226. Let’s do it then. I want to fight and I want to go out there to show everyone who ‘Blessed’ is,” says Holloway.