Unfortunately, UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway had to pull out of his title defense against Brian Ortega at UFC 226 earlier this week.
The reason why Blessed has pulled out of the title fight this Saturday is due to the fact he had been struggling with concussion-like symptoms which caused him to be admitted to a local hospital on Monday night.
He felt better on Tuesday and argued with his team to stay in the fight. However, the UFC Featherweight Champion's condition worsened on Wednesday and he was eventually pulled from the card.
Ortega was pulled from the UFC 226 card as well as a result, and Francis Ngannou vs Derrick Lewis was bumped up as the co-main event on the card alongside Stipe Miocic vs Daniel Cormier.
No one wants to see a fight cancelled, but safety must come first. Dana White and UFC vice president of health and performance Jeff Novitzky have both been trying to find out exactly what is wrong with Holloway.
No fight anytime soon
However, neither of them have been able to receive more information. White is now unsure as to when Blessed will step inside the Octagon to fight again.
The UFC president said at a press conference for UFC 226 on Thursday, via MMA Fighting: “It’s a weird situation.
"I was talking to Jeff Novitzky in the back and there’s a couple of different — some people think it’s concussion-related and some people think it’s weight cut-related, so they haven’t really got down to the bottom of what it is.
"But according to him he feels fine but obviously he’s not fine. So we’re going to continue to try to figure out what’s wrong with Max Holloway.
“In the meantime, there’s no way that this guy is going to fight anytime soon.”
This is a really tough time for Holloway right now, as this is the third fight which he has to pull out of this year alone.
Blessed withdrew from a UFC 222 defense in March earlier this year vs Frankie Edgar due to a leg injury, as well as a short-notice fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 in April.
Impossible to stop
White is unsure as to how he can stop health incidences like Holloway's from happening in the future as he believes there's not much that people can do about it.
He said: “It’s impossible. It’s impossible to ensure what happened to Holloway doesn’t happen.
"Listen, you’re dealing with human beings. People get sick, things happen, it’s unfortunate, but it happens. There’s nothing we can do about it.
“We’ve done everything you could possibly try to do to make these guys healthier, to give them a safer place to train, eat the right foods, we have a restaurant at the PI where they can eat for free and we’ve done everything that we can possibly do to try and limit this.”
Hopefully, Holloway's injuries aren't too heavily linked to concussion symptoms and that he's able to fight for UFC again soon.
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