2018 has not been a good year for Max Holloway, so far.
The reigning UFC featherweight champion had been forced out of his previously scheduled fights, most recently at UFC 226 in July after showing “concussion-like” symptoms just a few days before his scheduled title fight against Brian Ortega.
These drawbacks were apparently so damaging to Holloway, that he admitted to having bouts with depression because of it.
“It took a little while to shake,” Holloway said on a recent episode of the UFC Unfiltered podcast (transcript via MMA NYTT). “I don’t know what it was exactly. I’m not too sure. I try not to think about it too much cause these last couple times is kind of crazy. I was actually talking about depression.
“I didn’t even know what depression was before. I thought depression was ‘stop feeling bad for yourself.’ Then I kind of went through it, having the year I had last year and then this year, it’s kind of crazy.
“I’m here to say, the only way to get out of that is to bless yourself,” he continued. “You bless yourself and it’s you, keep continue to bless yourself, you can climb out of it. You can get out of it and don’t be scared to ask people for help.”
Holloway says he never took any form of medication, and instead looked to draw strength from the people around him.
“No medication at all,” he said. “More, my medication was just being with my son. Everybody was trying to reach out to me. If I didn’t want to talk to you, I wouldn’t talk to you unless I called you. People blowing up my phone or whatever, I didn’t talk to no one. I just had my son and my family. I was like what the hell am I doing?
“This is not something you fight alone. You’ve got to bless yourself for sure, it will get you to that point where you realize you need other people and I got great people in my life.”
As far as his current health status goes, Holloway did give the assurance that he is going to make it to his rescheduled title fight against Ortega this weekend at UFC 231 in Toronto.