Max Holloway vs. Brian Ortega In The Works for UFC 231

Max Holloway UFC
Max Holloway Credit: Dave Mandel/

Max Holloway is heading to Canada for a third time, where he’ll finally come face-to-face with Brian Ortega at UFC 231 this December.

Don’t look now, but Max Holloway is headed back to Toronto. Holloway, who won the interim featherweight title in the Canadian city at UFC 206 two years ago, is being booked into a main event title fight against Brian Ortega at UFC 231. The news was first reported by MMA Junkie, who note that the fighters have verbally agreed to the bout. The duo were originally scheduled to meet at UFC 226 in July. However, Holloway was pulled from the card for health reasons.

Should the fight hold together, it will mark the end of a long, strange trip for the duo. Holloway (19–3) has not fought since UFC 218 in Detroit last year, where he faced Jose Aldo for the second time. However, ‘Blessed’ was originally expected to face Frankie Edgar that night. An injury to Edgar changed that plan, however Holloway was again booked to face Edgar at UFC 222 last March. Injury struck again, only this time to Holloway. Ortega then stepped in, and infamously knocked ‘The Answer’ out.

That knockout victory captured the number one contender’s spot for Ortega (14-0, 1NC). However, before the pair could be booked, Holloway offered to step in for the injured Tony Ferguson at UFC 223, in the hopes of capturing a second UFC title. His lightweight dreams were dashed when doctors shut down his short-notice weight cut.

Max Holloway UFC 206
Max Holloway UFC 206, Toronto, December 2016 Credit; Jay Anderson/Cageside Press

Then came the UFC 226 booking with Ortega, which saw Holloway pulled while experiencing concussion like symptoms.

Like we said: what a long, strange trip it has been for these two, who will have played musical chairs for nearly a full year by the time they finally meet. UFC 231 takes place December 8 at the Scotiabank Arena (formerly the Air Canada Centre) in Toronto, Ontario.


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