Holloway Discusses UFC 222 Withdrawl
Max Holloway was a recent guest on The MMA Hour and talked about the ankle injury that kept him from fighting Frankie Edgar at UFC 222.
Holloway. the current UFC featherweight champion suffered the injury while in training for his originally scheduled March 3rd title defense against Edgar, and told Ariel Helwani that it was heartbreaking to step aside.
“It was difficult, man. It was a tough pill to swallow, for sure,” Holloway told host Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour. “I’ve never, ever pulled out of a fight in my life, not even in my amateur days. And for the first time to be that? So much history was on line.
And now, Holloway won’t get his chance to face Frankie Edgar, as Holloway’s replacement, Brian Ortega pulled off the shocking submission upset against Edgar. While Holloway would have loved to jump at the opportunity to face Edgar, he’s not upset to face the undefeated Ortega.
“This is a sport. It goes on, it keeps it moving. And I wasn’t mad at all. People keep thinking that Frankie is out of the picture completely. After the Ortega fight, we’ll see what happens. A couple more wins and [Edgar] is back in the discussion again, so I don’t really care. It’s time to move on, it’s time to focus on the next guy up, and that’s Ortega supposedly, so I can’t wait. I’m just ready. I’m ready to fight, man.”
Per the interview from MMA Fighting, the UFC and the Hawaii Tourism Authority were in negotiations for a major event this summer at Aloha Stadium (longtime home of the NFL’s Pro Bowl). And while talks stalled, Holloway is confident that the UFC will be landing in Hawaii soon enough..
“I think the talks with Hawaii have come a long way. This is the closest they’ve ever had to having a fight event down here, so we’ll see what happens. I don’t know, like how you said, that snag — usually when the NFL comes down [for the Pro Bowl], they give the NFL a $5 million compensation. So I think the UFC was trying to ask for that and then they kinda re-countered and they’re kinda just starting back-and-forth countering, so we’ll see what happens. I’m just glad that the HTA is actually taking the time to finally listen to the UFC and they’re finally talking about it.
“If it happens this year, it happens this year. If not, I’ve got to keep doing my job, and hopefully next year around the summertime it happens. So we’ll see happens. I’m positive that it’s going to happen. We’ve come leaps and bounds ahead of what it was before, so we’ve got the ball moving. We’ve got to just keep on creating hype.”
When it comes to a timeline, a potential return at the alleged UFC 227 show in Hawaii, or even earlier than that at UFC 226 is in the cards for the champion.
“That’s the timeline we’re looking at right now,” Holloway said. “My doctors, my physical therapists, my coaches, that’s all of the times that we’re looking at right now. They’re trying to see that July and August return, and that’s all I can do, be positive and keep training, keep getting this thing strong. And I can’t wait, man. I can’t wait to make that walk again. It’s a pretty crazy experience getting injured this bad and I don’t wish it on no one.”
Original Story: MMA Fighting