July 5 (UPI) — Featherweight Max Holloway has dropped out of his title fight against Brian Ortega at UFC 226, citing concussion-like symptoms.
Holloway’s manager Brian Butler told ESPN and UFC.com that he was pulling out of the event, which starts at 10 p.m. Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Holloway was rushed to the emergency room on Monday for an overnight stay before being released. He went back to the hospital on Wednesday.
“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 OK, and he was released Tuesday afternoon, but symptoms still continued.”
Butler said that Holloway showed signs of improvement but was still showing symptoms while working out. He later “crashed and was very hard to wake up,” while experiencing flashing vision and slurred speech.
Holloway also withdrew from an April fight at UFC 223 after being ruled medically unfit. He previously pulled out of UFC 222 with an ankle injury.
The 26-year-old owns a 19-3 career record in MMA and is 15-3 in UFC.
“It is what it is,” Ortega posted on social media Wednesday. “We’ll run this [expletive] later.”
It is unclear if Ortega will remain on the fight card.
“Keep your head up Champ, I know what it is, believe in yourself,” fellow UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov tweeted Thursday.