The biggest UFC card in recent memory has taken a significant, last minute hit. UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway, scheduled to defend his title in UFC 226’s co-main event on Saturday against Brian Ortega, has been pulled from the card.
The reason is concussion-like symptoms, according to his team. Here is their statement, released to ESPN:
“Max’s team and UFC staff noticed Max was not normal since late last week. This became obvious to many watching his interviews and public appearances the past few days. He was showing concussion-like symptoms before he even started his weight cut and was rushed to the ER on Monday where they admitted him overnight. Initial scans seemed OK, and he was released Tuesday afternoon but symptoms still continued. Max fought with his team to continue with the fight. He showed some improvement over the next day but was still showing obvious symptoms. After open workouts, he crashed and was very hard to wake up, when he did he had flashing vision and slurred speech. He is now back in the ER for further tests.”
This is the second-straight fight Holloway has been forced out of, as he also was pulled from UFC 223 after weight-cutting issues. It is unknown at this time if the UFC will find a replacement for Ortega on short notice.
Update: Ortega has been officially pulled from the card.