Max "Blessed" Holloway - Photo by Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Max Holloway Reveals Battle With Depression Following A Difficult 2018

UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway has revealed he's 'found out what depression is' following a difficult time in 2018.

2018 hasn’t the best year for UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway.

The Hawaiian is currently set to fight Brian Ortega at UFC 231 in December, but has already been pulled out of three fights earlier this year. Holloway’s year began in March when he was expected to face Frankie Edgar at UFC 222 but was forced to pull-out of the bout following a leg-injury. He was then brought in as a last minute replacement to face Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC lightweight title at UFC 223 the following month, but was pulled by the commission just 24-hours ahead of the bout following complications making weight. Holloway then attempted to return in the summer at UFC 226 to face against Brian Ortega, but once again was removed from the bout during fight week after showing concussion like symptoms in the lead up to the bout.

Holloway has been quiet since being forced out his last fight against Ortega, but speaking to Aaron Bronsteter of TSN earlier today, the UFC featherweight champion revealed that he’d been through some tough times mentally this year.

“I’m a big Raptors fan and DeRozan, he said something about what I was going through,” Holloway said. “He said ‘Depression real you know.’ He wished everyone in the world had money so they could understand it doesn’t make you happy you know. Depression was real you know.

“2017 you look back and as a fighter I had almost everything, this and that, everything was going good. I beat Aldo twice and so-on and so-on. This year come and I haven’t got a fight until December now. It’s not about how you start the race it’s how you finish and I’m going to finish strong. I feel strong and I can’t wait. I can’t wait to remind everyone who the #1 undisputed featherweight champion is.”

Holloway then implored fans who’d been through similar difficulties to reach out for help.

“Yeah you know, that was a dream fight fighting Frankie,” he continued. “It was a dream fight going up a weight class to fight and to be able to hold two belts at the same time. And then fighting Ortega, fighting a young guy and got pulled. Three things got pulled from me and I had no control.

“Those three pull outs I was trying to fight tooth and nail, you can ask everyone and my coach that fight week when I got hurt when I got hurt for that fight with Frankie in March, and then when the commission pulled us, I was fighting tooth and nail. Depression is real. I wouldn’t say a real dark place, but I found out what depression is this year and if you got depression you should reach out to someone and talk to someone and you’re not alone. You’re not alone guys I got great fans and they’re keeping me alive.”

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