'Blessed' opens up about fight with depression
UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway was pulled from a fight at UFC 226 in July after he appeared concussed. Although there has been no confirmed diagnosis, the symptoms did not return, he has been cleared to fight and defend his belt vs. Brian Ortega in the main event of UFC 231, on December 8 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. However, during the break, another issue developed.
“I kind of found out what depression is,” said Holloway to John Morgan for MMAjunkie. “I was at a point where I came home from July, and I didn’t talk to no one. If I wanted to talk to you, I would call you, but if you tried to reach me, I didn’t talk to no one. I was in my own zone."
“Depression is real and that really hit me hard,” said Holloway on the Good Show with Ben Ennis & JD Bunkis, as transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting. “I was going through a phase where I wasn’t talking to no one. Only my son. Me and my son would do stuff but I was talking to no one. If I wanted to you I would call you but if people were reaching out to me I was putting myself away. Since I was in that situation, now I’m able to talk about it and I can tell people that’s not the way to do it. The way to do it is talk to your family, talk to your friends, be with everyone because you don’t know when things can change. Life changes on a dime so live life to the fullest.”
“Don’t be scared to look for help. Depression is real. . . It’s crazy and all these guys, us athletes, that keep thinking we’re superheroes. I like to think I’m a superhero but superheroes got to fight their demons too sometimes.”
“I’m glad obstacles happen," said Holloway to Morgan. "I’m a big believer in ‘things happen for a reason,’ and I believe this thing happened for a reason. I believe I got slowed down around this time for a reason, and now we’re going to pick it back up, you know?
“People told me I fell off – well tell me where I left it, because we’re about to go back up, and people are about to find out why I’m one of the best fighters in the world and why I’m going to be No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter in the world someday.”
“The No. 1 guy is a friend to me, ‘Kung Fu Panda,’ Daniel Cormier. He knows he can get this work if he really wanted it. That’s it. That’s the next plan.
“First things first is Ortega. We take care of business, then whatever is there, if it’s a move up a weight class that I’ve got to go to show that I’m No. 1 pound-for-pound fighter, if it’s stay here at ’45, if it’s to jump to heavyweight, and fight that guy, whatever it is, whatever the UFC thinks, I want to be the No. 1 pound-for-pound best fighter in the world, no questions asked.”