UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway has yet to step inside the Octagon in 2018. The 26-year-old Hawaiian fighter had previously pulled out of his two scheduled contests during the year due to health issues.
The most alarming one took place at UFC 226 last July, where he was slated to face Brian Ortega. Holloway was forced out just four days before fight night after showing “concussion-like symptoms” that were even feared to be a result of a possible stroke.
Holloway opted to receive treatment in Hawaii at the end of July. Three months later, the UFC announced the rescheduling of his title fight with Ortega for UFC 231. And so far, he is assured that everything will go as planned this time around.
”We’re going to make it, man. No ‘knock on wood’ or anything like that,” Holloway told ESPN. “I’m blessed. Things have been unfortunate this year, but I’m in a good place right now. I can’t put into words the energy we have, everything is great. I can’t wait for fight week. It’s been way too long.”
Holloway has yet to specify what really happened to him in July. The most he could say about it was that it was connected to his diet.
”We’ve got an ongoing investigation, so I’ve been told not to comment on everything yet,” he said. “The UFC and Toronto commission has my medicals and said we’re good to go, so I ain’t worried about it. People are going to ask and be concerned, and I love people for that.
”That fight week in July, something went wrong after my first meal about eight days out. We gave it a couple days, but it just got worse. I hadn’t even started cutting weight. I was actually eating 2,500 calories a day. My kidneys showed it wasn’t related to weight cutting -- and if it was, I’m pretty sure the UFC would restrict me. And the UFC doctor said my scans showed it wasn’t a concussion.
”My team actually did a [toxicology] screen and, hey, Vegas is a crazy place. That’s all I can really say about it right now.”
UFC 231 is scheduled to happen on December 8th in Toronto. It will be co-headlined by a women’s flyweight title fight between Valentina Schevchenko and Joanna Jedrzejczyk.