Morning Report: Max Holloway says he’s ‘confident’ he’ll fight again before the end of the year

Max Holloway

At UFC 226, Max Holloway was supposed to defend his featherweight title against the surging Brian Ortega. But just a few days beforehand, fate intervened and Holloway was pulled from the event for concussion-like symptoms. Now, less than a month later, Holloway says he is feeling better and ready to get back into the octagon.

“I’ve seen multiple doctors and experts but they haven’t been able to give us any answers about what happened,” Holloway told Ariel Helwani on Monday. “There’s one thing they know right now and that’s that I’m okay. I’m okay and I’m gonna fight again, that’s all we know. As of right now, I’m good.”

Recounting the series of events that led to his removal from the card, Holloway said that he was feeling fine in the lead up to the event but things “started going haywire” the weekend before UFC 226. He still doesn’t know exactly what caused the issue but one thing he is adamant about is that this wasn’t a weight-cutting issue or an issue of being knocked out in training.

“I’ve seen a lot of stuff they’ve been talking about in the media – weight cut, stroke, whatever – you saw me. I grew up in front of everyone’s eyes in the UFC,” Holloway said. “This wasn’t a weight cut. I’ve made weight 20 plus times. You guys have been there through the hard weight cuts, through the easy ones, through the hard training camps. This wasn’t it. This wasn’t a weight cut thing. It was weird. I don’t know how to explain it. . .

“There’s rumors going around that I got knocked out in training. I wish it was that so we could just write it down and move on from it but that’ didn’t happen. I didn’t suffer a concussion at all. At the end of the day, I wish the answer was that simple. It would be easier to move forward if we knew what happened.”

Following his Fighter of the Year winning run in 2017, Holloway has had a terrible 2018. In the spring, “Blessed” was forced to pull out of a scheduled title defense against Frankie Edgar at UFC 222 due to a leg injury. Then, Holloway was given the chance to win the vacant lightweight title as a short-notice replacement for Tony Ferguson against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223, but was removed from the card when his weight cut proved too severe for the New York Athletic Commission to sanction it. Now, Holloway has been removed from three fights in the span of six months. But, when his medical suspension is up, Holloway says he’s hoping to turn the year around and end on a high note.

“They put me on medical suspension for 30 days and we’re taking it slow,” Holloway said. “They still didn’t figure out what was wrong but everything is coming back good. They’re just being cautious with me right now. I think after this 30 day period, we should get back to business, hopefully before the end of the year. . .

“It’s a tough one, having that year last year and then having this year this year, but this year is not over. I’m very confident that I’ll be back in there before the end of the year. Don’t count the kid out yet. The year’s not done, the story’s not written. We’ve got a lot more to write down and we’re just getting started. People keep forgetting, people keep questioning but we’re still in Blessed Era.”


MUST-READ STORIES

$$$. Cody Garbrandt says he felt he couldn’t withdraw from UFC 217 for financial reasons.

Ouch. ACB cancels three events due to ‘organizational and financial problems.’

Waiting. Nina Ansaroff says Amanda Nunes is ‘waiting for Cyborg to sign’ her contract.

Influx. Bellator signs 24 fighters across U.K. and Ireland.

Train. Brandon Gibson says he’s sending Carlos Condit to train at Tristar with Rory MacDonald.


VIDEO STEW

Embedded.

Countdown.

Conor prepping for Khabib.

Gotta respect how ride or die DC is for Cain.

Poirier vs. Eddie 2.

Solid promo.


LISTEN UP

The MMA Hour. Interviews with Swanson, GDR, Gibson, and Herb Dean.

Obviously Fight Talk. Discussing Woodley-Till and the return of Conor.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Jon Jones.

That car is awesome.

Persistent.

Unsurprisingly, Colby looks like he has no intention of letting that belt go.

Jeez.

Call out.

Options.

OAM.


FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Nathan Schulte (12-3) vs. Jason High (21-7); PFL 5, Aug. 2.

Kayla Harrison (1-0) vs. Jozette Cotton (8-1); PFL 6, Aug. 16.

Patricky Freire (19-8) vs. Goiti Yamauchi (22-4); Bellator 205, Sep. 21.

Michal Materla (26-6) vs. Damian Janikowski (3-0); KSW 45, Oct. 6.

Scott Askham (16-4) vs. Marcin Wojcik (11-5); KSW 45, Oct. 6.

Driscus Du Plessis (12-1) vs. Roberto Soldic (13-3); KSW 45, Oct. 6.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2013: Michael Chandler knocked out David Rickels to retain his Bellator lightweight title at Bellator 97. This event also saw Ben Askren stop Andre Koreshkov to retain his welterweight title.


FINAL THOUGHTS

I’m not a medical doctor but if you don’t know what was wrong with you, trying to rush back into the cage before the end of the year seems like that may not be a great idea. I really hope Max is overly cautious with this one. He’s one of the most exciting fighters in the world and it would suck to see him burn out early.

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL


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