Max Holloway doesn’t have a definitive answer as to why his health deteriorated just prior to his scheduled title defense at UFC 226, but he knows that he definitely did not suffer a stroke.
“When we were in the ER with doctors the word ‘stroke’ never came up,” Holloway said during an appearance on "Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show" on Monday. “I was in disbelief when people were trying to use that. My entire team wasn’t in the ER, so when we heard the rumors come out I thought it was just clickbait. If it was a stroke or heart problem or whatever people were gossiping about, how in their right mind would the doctors discharge me from the hospital? I was never scared I was never going to fight again. It never crossed my mind I might not fight again.”
Holloway was pulled from his bout vs. Brian Ortega just a few days prior to UFC 226 due to concussion-like symptoms. However, the 26-year-old Hawaiian dispelled another rumor that he was knocked out in sparring during his camp. In fact, “Blessed” claims he didn’t suffer a concussion at all leading up to the event.
“There’s rumors going around that I got knocked out in training and I wish it was that so we could just write it down and be like, ‘Look, this is what happened,'” Holloway said. “And we could move on from it. That didn’t happen. We had hard training days, but I didn’t suffer a concussion at all. I wish the answer was that simple. That’s why it’s so confusing. It would be easy to move forward if we knew what happened. Not just for me, for my mom, my family and my whole team. We’re struggling with it right now.”
In short, doctors simply haven’t been able to provide Holloway with a clear-cut reason as to why his health resulted in him being removed from UFC 226. He does plan on fighting again, ideally before the end of 2018.
“I've seen multiple doctors and experts, but they haven't been able to give any answers about what happened," Holloway said. "But I'm OK. I'm going to fight again. That's all we know.”