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International Fight Week is cursed: Max Holloway OUT of UFC 226 co-main event due to concussion-like symptoms

Once again, something has affected an International Fight Week for the UFC.

You didn’t think a major UFC card would go off without a hitch, did you? Seems like you haven’t been paying attention. UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway is out of his championship fight at UFC 226 (July 7) against Brian Ortega, according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. Holloway was dealing with concussion-like symptoms leading up to the weigh-ins.

This unfortunate news is just the latest setback for Holloway. Scheduled to fight Frankie Edgar at UFC 222, Holloway had to back out due to a leg injury. He then tried to step up at UFC 223 against Khabib Nurmagomedov in a lightweight bout when Tony Ferguson had to back out. While deemed impossible with only a few days noticed, Holloway tried the best he could. It wasn’t until doctors forced him off the card that he stopped the dramatic weight cut. Which brings us to tonight’s news, a few days before his fight against Ortega.

It is terrible news, not only for Max, but the UFC. International Fight Week has become a celebratory week for the UFC. Now on their 25th anniversary, the company was hoping to go all out with UFC 226. History has shown that the company, no matter how hard they try, can’t seem to get what they want:

It is unknown if the UFC will scramble to find Ortega a new opponent for Saturday. Some are suggesting Frankie Edgar, who Ortega beat at UFC 222 to earn the opportunity at the title. At this point however, a last-minute replacement doesn’t seem ideal, as we have learned in the past.

At the end of the day, Holloway’s health is the most important factor in this situation. Here is hoping for the best, and that Holloway can come back stronger than ever. As for the UFC, they are used to this type of situation by now. How they respond to these controversial pre-fight losses will be crucial for their future.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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