Thursday, December 06, 2018

UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway appeared recently on the UFC Unfiltered podcast and said that being removed from a title defense vs. Brian Ortega at UFC 226 due to concussion-like symptoms left him with depression for a time. Making matters worse, the fighter has yet to receive a solid diagnosis on what went cause the symptoms.

“It took a little while to shake," said Holloway, as transcribed by Damon Martin for MMANYTT. "I don’t know what it was exactly. I’m not too sure. I try not to think about it too much cause these last couple times is kind of crazy. I was actually talking about depression. I didn’t even know what depression was before. I thought depression was stop feeling bad for yourself. Then I kind of went through it, having the year I had last year and then this year, it’s kind of crazy.“I’m here to say, the only way to get out of that is to bless yourself. You bless yourself and it’s you, keep continue to bless yourself, you can climb out of it. You can get out of it and don’t be scared to ask people for help.”

Holloway's return from depression was accomplished without drugs.

“No medication at all," he said. "More, my medication was just being with my son. Everybody was trying to reach out to me. If I didn’t want to talk to you, I wouldn’t talk to you unless I called you. People blowing up my phone or whatever, I didn’t talk to no one. I just had my son and my family. I was like what the hell am I doing? This is not something you fight alone. You’ve got to bless yourself for sure, it will get you to that point where you realize you need other people and I got great people in my life.”

“That was my first time. I didn’t know what depression was. I saw people depressed, I’d be like ‘what are you sad for, you’re living, you’re happy’. Then smack.”

The depression and concussion-like symptoms are hopefully safely in the past now, as on Saturday night, Holloway fights a surging Brian Ortega.