Max Holloway: ‘We Were At The Striking Distance To Make Weight For UFC 223’

Tony Ferguson, started out the whole mess when he forced out of UFC 223 title bout against Khabib Nurmagomedov due to an injury. Max Holloway step in as his replacement on six days notice. UFC 223 turned into a complete frenzy on Friday morning during weigh-ins, when the New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) deemed UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway medically unfit to fight.

On Monday’s episode of The MMA Hour, Holloway revealed that he was around 180 pounds during fight week, but couple days before the fight he dropped down to 159.

“[Doctors] checked me on the morning of the weight cut on Thursday,” Holloway told Ariel Helwani (via MMA Fighting). “And before media day they checked me and then they kept checking me. We were cutting weight and every time we were cutting they were coming in, coming in and coming in.”

“The last real push, they came in and checked and they called it. Depressing sh-t, man. It’s pretty sad, but it is what it is. These things happen.”

“We got a little bit under [159 pounds],” he added. “We were close; we were in striking distance for sure.”

Holloway faced a massive weight cut challenge ahead of his title bout and said he never thought making weight was unachievable.

“I never thought it was going to be impossible. It never once crossed my mind,” Holloway said. “It was harder than most [cuts] for sure. But I was just bigger, that’s it. I had a little bit more body fat on me than I usually do. It was just new experiences. It was nothing crazy.”

“I wasn’t thinking, ‘Oh, I’m going to die!’ or things like that — never ever,” he continued. “This is part of the game; it was just harder than most [weight cuts]. We took the challenge knowing the consequences. We went out there and we did the damn thing.”

“We got stopped, we got pulled and the sh-t hurts. It’s been a hurtful year for me so far. I’d never pulled out of a fight in my life and then I got two pulled on me, two big ones too. It’s a tough pill to swallow right now.

Holloway implied that he was only a few pounds away from hitting the championship weight limit if he hadn’t been forced to stop cutting.

Max Holloway is riding a 12-fight win streak, expected to defend his title against Brian Ortega, next. Further details still have to be announced yet.

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