UFC stag­ing 2 ti­tle fights at Toronto event tonight

Men’s feath­er­weight and women’s fly­weight belts be­ing con­tested at UFC 231

Penticton Herald - - SPORTS -

TORONTO — What­ever the out­come of tonight’s UFC 231 main event be­tween feath­er­weight cham­pion Max Hol­loway and chal­lenger Brian Ortega, UFC pres­i­dent Dana White says it could be Hol­loway’s last out­ing at 145 pounds.

White said the weight cut is too se­vere for the Hawai­ian fighter, who has bat­tled a va­ri­ety of health is­sues this year around fight time.

“I didn’t want him to fight at 145 (pounds) again, I wanted him to fight at 155 (light­weight),” White said. “There’s a lot of risk — to him, to us, to ev­ery­body.”

But Hol­loway (19-3-0) wanted to face Ortega (14-0-0 with one no con­test).

“I wanted him to move up to 155. I be­lieve af­ter this fight — win, lose or draw — he will,” said White. “And I will be push­ing him hard.” Hol­loway made weight at 144.5 pounds on Fri­day, tweet­ing a photo of him on the scales with a fin­ger to his lips as if si­lenc­ing the doubters. Ortega was 144.75.

“You think these guys have to be tough to fight? You have to be tough to cut weight, man,” said White, not­ing Hol­loway was 161 pounds on Mon­day.

The two 145-pounders were orig­i­nally slated to meet at UFC 226 in July, but Hol­loway was forced to with­draw at the last minute due to what was thought to be “con­cus­sion-like symp­toms.”

Doc­tors have been un­able to de­ter­mine what the prob­lem was.

“I’m pretty sure he did not have a con­cus­sion,” said White. “It had to be as­so­ci­ated with weight cut.”

An an­kle in­jury had forced Hol­loway out of a March bout against for­mer light­weight champ Frankie Edgar at UFC 222.

Ortega filled in for Hol­loway, win­ning by spec­tac­u­lar first-round TKO to be­come the No. 1 con­tender.

Joanna Je­drze­jczyk (15-2-0) and Valentina Shevchenko (15-3-0) meet for the va­cant women’s fly­weight ti­tle in the co-main event at Sco­tia­bank Arena.

White

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