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Max Holloway eyes July date with Brian Ortega following UFC 223 exit

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Max Holloway
Max Holloway
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Max Holloway isn’t spending any time dwelling on what could have been had he not been pulled from his short-notice title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223.

The featherweight champion hopes the UFC will book him against contender Brian Ortega at UFC 226. Dana White has told the Hawaiian that the jiu-jitsu ace will be his next opponent following his forced withdrawal from last weekend’s Brooklyn event.

“Dana called me on fight day and told me, ‘It’s alright, kid, we tried’ and ‘thank you for trying everything’ and ‘onto the next one’. So Brian Ortega is up, hopefully we can get on that July card,” Holloway told Ariel Helwani on the latest episode of The MMA Hour.

“I’ve been asking. I see everyone talking about that July card. I’ve got to get back business at 145, but if UFC call again for 155 for that thing with Khabib, that would be fun.”

“Blessed” underlined that the UFC have yet to nail down a date for his fight with Ortega. He hopes he can defend the belt in July so he will have an opportunity to compete in Madison Square Garden towards the end of the year.

“Dana said it was the best shot, he said that I have business to handle with Ortega. He didn’t say a date, but hopefully it’s July. I want to fight in July so I can go back to New York and try this one more time,” Holloway said.

“Madison Square Garden, we’ve got to try this one more time, that’s what I want to do. Fans are talking about it, I hear you guys want this fight a lot and they were tweeting me right after I got pulled. A lot of guys were saying, ‘Let’s see that fight [Holloway vs. Ortega] back on UFC 226.

“Let’s do it then. I want to fight and I want to go out there to show everyone who ‘Blessed’ is.”