Ferguson Out, Holloway In For UFC 223
With less than a week till their scheduled fight for the UFC lightweight title, the fight between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov has been canceled.
In a story first reported by ESPN, UFC President Dana White confirmed that Ferguson would be taken out of the fight due to a torn knee ligament.
With less than a week till fight night, Nurmagomedov will still be facing a champion, but it will be featherweight title holder, Max Holloway who steps in for the lightweight crown.
“He’s a stud,” White said of Holloway accepting the bout on short notice. “The guy hasn’t lost a fight since 2013, and that was a decision to Conor McGregor.
“He’s the type of guy that steps up for opportunities like this. And when you think about it, if he wins this fight — other than Conor McGregor, he will be the only guy to hold two belts at the same time.”
McGregor will remain the official lightweight champion, but by the time UFC 223 reaches its main event, he will be stripped of the title. White told Bret Okamoto that the UFC did not reach out to Mcregor, because they are not interested in bringing him back as a last minute replacement.
“I don’t think Conor McGregor could make the weight on six days’ notice, that’s a tough weight cut for him,” White said. “And Conor is not the guy I want to throw in as a late replacement fighter. He’s a guy I want to make a fight with and have the right amount of time to promote the fight.
“I think Conor could return in September and it could be against one of these guys.”
White confirmed that Ferguson is no longer the interim champion, and that there will not be a fifth attempt to get Ferguson and Nurmagomedov in the same fight.
Original Report: ESPN