Holloway withdraws from UFC 226

UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway has been forced to withdraw from UFC 226 due to concussion.

The Hawaiian native has been hospitalised with concussion symptoms, likely sustained during training. As a result, his title fight and co-main event against the undefeated Brain Ortega has been scrapped from Saturday’s main card.

Holloway’s team released the following statement about the 26-year-old’s condition.

“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,” it read.

“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 okay, 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.”

UFC 226 also features two tantalising heavyweight bouts, with reigning UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic taking on UFC light heavyweight title holder Daniel Cormier while the dangerous Francis Ngannou faces Derrick Lewis.