Max Holloway was scheduled to defend his UFC Featherweight title against Brian Ortega at UFC 226 in Las Vegas on the undercard of the super fight between Stipe Miocic and Daniel Cormier. However, things didn’t go as planned and Holloway had to pull out of the card following his health scare and he had to be hospitalized.
But now MMA fans are all set to get the most awaited fight of the featherweight division as Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) and Ortega (14-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) are supposed meet at UFC 231, which will take place Dec. 8 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
If Holloway doesn’t make it, Ortega said the promotion has a backup opponent on standby.
“They say they have a replacement,” Ortega told reporters backstage at UFC 229, where he served as a guest fighter. “They haven’t said the name. I don’t know who it is. I don’t care. If it’s for the real featherweight title, count on me being there.”
Ortega said he has got the word from UFC that there will be a backup opponent and his training camp will not go in vain.
“He’s been having a lot of issues,” Ortega said. “There was the Frankie Edgar fight where I stepped in to save that card (at UFC 222). There was the Khabib (Nurmagomedov) incident in New York (at UFC 223), where I offered to step in as well and (UFC President) Dana (White) said yes. Then he stepped in, and he couldn’t make that happen. Then there was ours at UFC 226, and he had to pull out again.
“I don’t know what’s going on with his health right now, or what’s happening with his camp. But now, I don’t care. Because it’s going to happen with or without him. I get what I want, which is a title shot.”
He also said that he and Dana White are cool now and they both have patched their things.
“Everything is all patched up,” Ortega said. “Dana is cool. It’s a business, and I sometimes take it personal. That’s who I am. After the fact, we kept talking, we kept in touch, and we squashed everything out.
“We’re on good terms, and it makes sense to make this the main event. I’m the No. 1 contender.”