A stacked UFC 226 had an exciting co-main event as champion Max ‘Blessed’ Holloway was scheduled to defend his belt for the second time against #1 ranked contender Brian ‘T-City’ Ortega.
However few days ago on Monday, champion Holloway was taken to the hospital for concussion like symptoms including impaired vision and slurred speech, resulting him to be pulled out of the fight.
UFC started looking for a replacement right away and in came #4 ranked featherweight contender Jeremy ‘Lil Heathen’ Stephens. Stephens is already preparing for his important fight against former UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo at Fight Night Calgary on July 28.
Stephens went out to UFC President Dana White to establish his case. However Ortega reportedly ‘turned down’ the replacement fight against Stephens.
“Literally, Jeremy Stephens will not stop blowing me up, he wants this fight so bad, he said he’ll take it on short notice,” White said, per MMAFighting’s Alexander K. Lee. “He’s cutting weight already with the hopes that Ortega will accept the fight. Ortega has turned down the fight, so I don’t know. We’ll see what happens.”