Max Holloway OUT of UFC 223 main event v. Khabib Nurmagomedov
Taking a fight on six days notice, Holloway was deemed unable to compete against Khabib
The hits just keep on coming for Brooklyn-run UFC events. After taking a fight six days before the event, Max Holloway seemed ready to go. That is not the case anymore, as the “Blessed” one has been deemed medically unfit to compete against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 inside the Barclays Center. ESPN was the first to report the news.
Holloway, a featherweight, wanted to commit to the lightweight weight cut. The New York State Athletic Commission denied the his request during the weigh-ins, deeming it unsafe.
. @TeamKhabib my brother I want to keep going but they are stopping me. Sorry to your team and the fans. You don’t deserve this. This is number one. Shout outs to you and @Showtimepettis . Give the fans what they deserve
— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) April 6, 2018
Holloway, the current UFC Featherweight Champion, replaced Ferguson on short notice earlier this week after the latter suffered a knee injury that forced him from the card. Realistically, it was almost impossible for Holloway to be in fighting shape six days before a fight against Khabib. While it has been done before, there are health concerns. The NYSAC seemed to notice that, and immediately stepped in.
It’s unclear at this point whether Nurmagomedov will still fight Saturday. The UFC has attempted to find a new challenger for Khabib, but it appears all for nought. Anthony Pettis only needed to lose .2 pounds, but New York State officials pulled the scale before he could continue. Other challengers in mind are Paul Felder and Long Island’s Al Iaquinta.
Another option could be to scrap the main event altogether and have Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk main event the show.
The UFC has a long way to go to dig a card that had such promise out of the dirt. With no clear headliner set, UFC 223 is appearing to look like a complete wild card of an event.