Brian Ortega is set to lock horns with Max Holloway for the undisputed Ultimate Fighting Championship featherweight title on Saturday night in Toronto, but the man they call “T-City” has concerns over the bout in light of Holloway’s recent history.
Ortega was originally supposed to meet Holloway at UFC 226 for the belt but Holloway fell ill during fight week and withdrew from the fight citing “concussion-like symptoms.” At a media lunch on Monday, Ortega expressed his concern with Holloway’s ongoing health issues, especially since Holloway’s condition still is not fully understood. (via MMA Fighting)
“Both of us did a show in Canada and that was the first time I heard it,” Ortega said of a television appearance he and Holloway appeared on two months ago. “He was like, ‘We still don’t know what it is.’ I looked over during the show like, what the f*ck do you mean you don’t know what it is? I was like, Are you serious? And we’re scheduled already not too far from now. I don’t know. I pray for the guy and I hope he’s good.”
Ortega questioned whether Holloway’s mystery illness is only triggered once he starts his weight cut which would be in line with the symptoms he was showing before.
“He’s made it all the way through his training camp. He’s always successful with that,” Ortega said. “It’s just these last … I don’t know if the [weight] cutting triggers something. I don’t know what it is. He doesn’t know what it is. But there is a concern there. Obviously, he is the best and I want to fight him. That’s why he’s got the belt around him. For me to fight him, it would secure my name at the top as well.”
Ortega said he is just keen to fight this weekend whether Holloway shows up or not. The good news for Ortega is that the UFC has a ready replacement in the form of dangerous Brazilian Renato Moicano who is training for the fight just in case Holloway suffers a relapse of his illness.