Michael Bisping heard through the grapevine that the UFC’s featherweight champion Max Holloway was knocked out in sparring just prior to his scrapped UFC 226 showdown with Brian Ortega.
It’s funny to think about how this month’s UFC 226 would have looked had the originally-scheduled co-main event between Holloway and Brian Ortega actually gone ahead.
Would the rest of the card have played out exactly the same? Would Daniel Cormier still be standing here as the reigning heavyweight champion of the world? Would the replacement co-main between Francis Ngannou and Derrick Lewis still have been a bonafide stinker?
Pointless questions, of course, but with many unanswered questions still looming large over the future of the 145lb kingpin, speculation will remain rampant until more is known.
It was about as compelling a featherweight contest as you ever hope for with the current crop and to be honest, the delay that we will be forced to endure before hopefully seeing Holloway/Ortega become a reality will only build the level of anticipation.
Fingers crossed it doesn’t turn into another Khabib/Ferguson.
With no indication yet on the return of the young Hawaiian Holloway, it does look as though we will be forced to sit and wait until more details emerge about what exactly went wrong.
Michael Bisping spoke during a recent edition of his Believe You Me podcast and gave us an insight into what he has heard and to be honest, it does seem like the most likely scenario.
“Apparently, he had a concussion in training camp. Word on the street is he got knocked out in training and suffered a concussion. But he was still going to fight. Obviously, that could have been very, very damaging for him.”
If that is indeed the case, then pulling him from the fight was, of course, the obvious choice. His general appearance and demeanour in the hours before the bout was pulled, though, was more than enough of a reason to make the call – no matter what the situation behind the scenes was.
Something was clearly up with the champ and when faced with a predicament like that, sometimes it’s best to save a fighter who is as game as Max from himself.
Cillian Cunningham, Pundit Arena