UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway was declared out of UFC 226 Wednesday because of concussion-like symptoms, his management team reported.
Holloway was scheduled to fight unbeaten challenger Brian Ortega in the co-main event Saturday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
“Max was not normal since late last week,” the management team said in a statement delivered first to ESPN. “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.
“Max fought with his team to continue the fight ... 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.”
Holloway (19-3) appeared at a public workout at MGM Grand on Wednesday afternoon and mostly boxed, a session that was preceded by interviews with reporters.
“I’m all good,” Holloway said when asked about the foot injury that canceled his planned March 3 title defense against Frankie Edgar and the weight-cutting issues that forced him off as a replacement lightweight-title opponent to Khabib Nurmagomedov in April.
Holloway even flashed his abs to reporters in a later session.
A member of Ortega camp said he’s definitely off the UFC 226 card.
UFC officials did not immediately respond to questions about Holloway’s condition, or if a replacement fighter would be summoned for Ortega.
There are no other featherweights participating on the card that is headlined by the heavyweight title defense by champion Stipe Miocic against light-heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier.
An official close to the situation said Holloway-Ortega could be moved to UFC 227 at Staples Center on Aug. 4, pending a review of Holloway’s health.