After Max Holloway was pulled from his third scheduled fight of 2018, which was planned to be a featherweight title defense at UFC 226, there was a cloud of mystery and concern that began to swirl around Max Holloway’s health. With the ailments that prevented Holloway from competing at UFC 226 still being undiscovered, fans have entered fight week with bated breath and fingers crossed, hoping Holloway will be able to make it to his scheduled UFC 231 title defense against Brian Ortega this Saturday from the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada. No one has more reason to be concerned than Brian Ortega, though, who will look to become a champion this weekend. In a media lunch on Monday, Ortega expressed the root of his lingering concern: (Transcript via MMA Fighting)
“Both of us did a show in Canada and that was the first time I heard it,” Ortega said of a television appearance he and Holloway appeared on two months ago. “He was like, ‘We still don’t know what it is.’ I looked over during the show like, What the f*ck do you mean you don’t know what it is? I was like, Are you serious? And we’re scheduled already not too far from now. I don’t know. I pray for the guy and I hope he’s good.”
Brian Ortega went on to state that while fight week is upon us and he would love to put his concerns behind him, they are far from being out of the woods as far as Max Holloway’s UFC 231 status is concerned:
“He’s made it all the way through his training camp. He’s always successful with that,” Ortega said. “It’s just these last … I don’t know if the [weight] cutting triggers something. I don’t know what it is. He doesn’t know what it is. But there is a concern there. Obviously, he is the best and I want to fight him. That’s why he’s got the belt around him. For me to fight him, it would secure my name at the top as well.”
If worse comes to worst and Max Holloway is unable to defend his featherweight title, Renato Moicano will be ready to step in as a replacement fighter for Brian Ortega for the event’s headliner, and Brian Ortega is just fine with facing Moicano or anyone else…under one condition:
“We’ll fight whoever we have to fight,” Ortega said. “At that point, if it’s for the belt and they say that Max can’t fight, I can’t do that to the fans twice. Regardless on Saturday, I’m gonna fight no matter who it is.”
Do you share the concerns expressed by Brian Ortega, or do you think he is worried about nothing?