Ortega: Holloway Stripped if He Pulls from UFC 231

It has been an unlucky year for UFC Featherweight Champion Max Holloway.

Holloway had to pull out from a UFC 222 title defense back in March and saw his weight cut stopped when trying to fill in for a lightweight title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov the next month.  The most recent road block came in the days leading up to July’s UFC 226 — where he was scheduled to defend his title against Brian Ortega.

Holloway was forced to pull just days prior to the fight because of concussion-like symptoms. Ortega then went through a rough stretch where he turned down a short-notice fight with Jeremy Stephens (to ensure his No. 1 contender status and due to no desire to compete for an interim title), got heat from UFC President Dana White and initially got paid no compensation for the July event.

And now, Ortega isn’t taking any chances. According to Ortega, a clause has been put into the UFC 231 fight contract that states if Holloway fails to compete for any reason, Holloway will be stripped of the title, guaranteeing Ortega a title fight regardless of the circumstances.

“I’m laser-focused on the belt at this point,” Ortega said. “Now, with this fight happening, we have it where if Max shows up or doesn’t show up, I’m going to have a fight for the featherweight (title) no matter what. This is the first time I’m letting it out right now. it’s in the contract. Everything is done. I will fight for the featherweight belt with or without him.

“There’s no more of me letting the fans down. If he pulls out on one days’ notice, three hours’ notice, it doesn’t matter. I’m going to show up and it’s going to be for the featherweight belt and it’s going to be main event. Dec. 8, that’s the goal. UFC 231. Toronto.”

Original Story: MMAJunkie

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