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Manager shuts down rumors alleging that Max Holloway had a stroke prior to UFC 226

Manager Brian Butler-Au denies rumors about Max Holloway supposedly suffering a stroke prior to UFC 226, which led to his pullout from his scheduled title fight against Brian Ortega.

MMA: UFC 218-Holloway vs Aldo Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway was forced out of his scheduled title fight against Brian Ortega at UFC 226 early this month. The reason for doing so, however, has never been established.

Initial reports claim that the 26-year-old Hawaiian fighter was showing “concussion-like” symptoms even before he began his weight cut, urging his coaches to pull the plug on the fight with just three days left. UFC president Dana White was also left dumbfounded about what went wrong, but also concluded that it could be a case of water poisoning due to water-loading.

Other speculations that floated around was a possible stroke, which was brought up by retired UFC heavyweight Brendan Schaub.

“I don’t know if it’s come out, what exactly happened. He must’ve gotten clipped or concussed in training camp and cutting the weight,” Schaub said during a recent episode of his Below the Belt podcast. “But I heard when he was cutting weight, I heard he got real scary.”

“That was when his team was like ‘Uh, we need to rush him to the hospital right now.’ I heard it got so scary where a doctor was like ‘This could be a sign of a small’ f—king… Not a heart attack, but a stroke.”

While not mentioning Schaub specifically, Holloway’s manager Brian Butler-Au spoke to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto regarding the stroke rumors, calling out the “media manipulators” who are spreading such information.

Late last week, Holloway gave a brief update on his health, stating he has been back in Hawaii for more medical exams and that he is “starting to feel better.”