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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Max Holloway says Israel Adesanya documentary has inspired him to be proactive about mental health


Aside from his glowing recommendation of the film, “Blessed” says the message was important for him, personally, and has him considering therapy. “Most of the guys who have that tough exterior, are usually some of the nicest people in the world. So it was good to see both those sides and I can’t wait until it premieres. Hopefully it premieres big and his story will get out. It was very touching.” “That is a relief. Like I said, how the doc is going to open eyes to other people, it opened eyes to me. He did a lot of stuff. I even talked him after the doc. I told him some of the personal stuff he was dealing with, I was like, ‘Brother, I was right there.’ He was tripping out so I was like, ‘Bro, crazy, [we’re] more alike than anything.’”“Amazing. I can’t wait [for others to see it],” Holloway said. “I got to talk to Izzy a little bit after too. Just how open he was, without giving too much away, to get to see a different view of us fighters that we go through. A lot of people think we’re superheroes and the vulnerability of Izzy, not only Izzy but Eugene too. Everybody was telling me that Eugene is a big bad guy, he’s this tough guy, but he’s actually a big teddy bear. Holloway went on to talk about times he dealt with depression, specifically in 2018 after a string of unfortunate circumstances befell him, including repeated issues for a fight with Frankie Edgar and then losing a shot at the vacant light title against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 when the New York State Athletic Commission refused to let him compete due to his weight cut.Ultimately, Holloway came through his struggles on the other side and remains one of the UFC’s most beloved fighters.He is currently set to face The Korean Zombie in the main event of UFC Singapore on Aug. 26.Holloway was in attendance for the “Stylebender” premiere, and speaking on The MMA Hour, “Blessed” co-signed Adesanya’s assessment.“But then figuring out, reaching out — that was when mental health was a huge thing. 2018? 2017-18 was a huge thing. I think [Tyson Fury] came out talking about it. Everyone. A who’s who was talking about it, so I started looking into it myself and then, you’ve always got to remember, the main thing I tell people when they’re going through tough times is without the rain there wouldn’t be a rainbow. At the end of the day, that just is what it is.” Adesanya’s documentary, “Stylebender,” recently debuted at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. The film covers the life of Adensanya alongside coach Eugene Bareman, from Adesanya’s childhood to his transition to fighting, and notably features Adesanya’s work with mental health professionals. Adesanya himself suggested that “men need to see this film”, in part due to its open discussion about mental health.“I haven’t [set anything up]. Not yet,” Holloway continued. “Mental health and stuff, here and there, but not like an actual go out and pay somebody. We talk to someone because we know someone, but I want to try and maybe set up sessions and see how it is. If it’s not for me — I was one of those guys knocking it before I tried it. Then you see it’s like, it’s sad it took me to watch Izzy’s doc to do it, but better late than never.” Former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway agrees.Max Holloway is planning to take a page out of Israel Adesanya’s book. “When I was supposed to fight Frankie the first time, I ended up hurting my ankle, and then after that the whole freaking Khabib [Nurmagomedov] thing happened,” Holloway said when asked if he dealt with depression. “I was out here in Brooklyn and then that happened and it was like I couldn’t catch a break. One after another after another and I just felt I couldn’t catch a break, and I was thinking, ‘Why me?’“Even today I’m like, ‘I don’t need to talk to nobody.’ I’m like that,” Holloway said. “Even to today, I fight myself. ‘You don’t need to talk to nobody.’ But then watching that, after seeing Izzy doing it, I’m like, maybe I should. Then talking to Izzy a little bit and finding out how many different people he talked to, I’m like, ‘Wow! This guy actually talked to people. I thought I was the only one fighting this, but he’s actually doing it.’While Holloway and Adesanya are not close friends, they do share a manager, Tim Simpson, which is how Holloway came to be at the documentary’s premiere.

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