Max Holloway joined Ariel Helwani on the latest edition of his ESPN show to discuss his recent health issues and in one memorable segment, weighed up risking it all to prove your mettle against some very real and very scary consequences.
There’s a misguided and sometimes dangerous notion within the world of combat sports that you have to show up and fight to prove your worth, no matter what it costs you.
And yes, when we see guys like Donald Cerrone put themselves in those tough matchups again and again with little regard for their own safety, a part of us respects them for going out there and doing what they’re doing.
In reality, though, sometimes a fighter’s worst enemy can be themselves an in a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show, the featherweight champion of the world Max Holloway managed to put things into terrifying perspective.
When asked whether he believes it was the right call for him to be withdrawn from his UFC 226 matchup with Brian Ortega after displayed concussion-like symptoms in public, his answer was surprisingly blunt.
“If you ask ‘Fighter-Max’ I would say no. But if you look at through the eyes of my coach, my friends, my mom, my parents, as a father.
“Say I go and make the walk – this is one of the toughest things that they broke down for me. Say I go and I make the walk and I take a little bit of damage in there, we win, we celebrate and then I go to sleep that night and I don’t wake up the next day.
“That hit me tough when they told me that.
“It’s crazy to think that you can be here one day and be gone the next.
“‘Fighter-Max wanted to go straight in but that’s why I have a team behind me. At the end of the day I think they made the right decision.”
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena