BREAKING: Tony Ferguson OUT of UFC 223 main event, Khabib to now face Max Holloway
This will be the fourth time an attempted bout between Khabib and Ferguson has been cancelled
With a few days before UFC 223, anything was bound to happen. Nobody could expect a major injury however to a major champion, especially on April Fool’s. Well, it actually happened. The UFC announced that Tony Ferguson is out of his Lightweight Title defense against Khabib Nurmagomedov due to a torn knee ligament. Featherweight Champion Max Holloway has stepped up and will fight for Ferguson’s title on six days notice against Khabib.
This is not a drill or a sad attempt at an April Fool’s joke. The entire MMA community wishes it was though.
This will be the fourth time Ferguson (23-3) and Khabib (25-0) have had a fight between one another cancelled. A simple freak accident, and not hitting steel pipes with his legs like he has recently done, has costed the champion his title. The timing of this is both a brutal and incredible. Literally minutes after I went on The Main Event, hoping for nobody to get hurt, this news breaks out. The MMA Gods have not been kind to anyone recently. Now, Holloway will most likely be stripped if his title, should he win against Khabib.
Holloway (19-3) had an incredible 2017, defeating Jose Aldo twice to win and defend the UFC Featherweight Championship. The Hawaiian is on a 12-fight win streak going all the way back to 2014. He was expected to defend his title against Brian Ortega before this news came out.
He heads into the fire to face the undefeated Khabib, who has won nine fights in the UFC’s lightweight division.
This cryptic tweet Conor posted a few days ago just got a whole lot more interesting.
Dana White spoke to ESPN regarding Conor’s status with the company, and why he didn’t receive a match against Khabib. He stated:
“I don’t think Conor McGregor could make the weight on six days’ notice. That’s a tough weight cut for him. 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.
White also stated that Conor is expected back in September, and could face the winner of this fight.
At UFC 223, Holloway will attempt to become the second person to win two belts in two different weight classes at the same. Who was the last fighter to do so you may ask? McGregor. On six days notice, it seems nearly impossible that Holloway can pull this off. Stranger things have happened however, and knowing the “Blessed” one, he will look to create a moment out of thin air.
UFC 223 takes place on April 7th inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY. The co-main event features Rose Namajunas defending her Strawweight Title against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Tickets are still available through Ticketmaster.com and the Barclays Center box office.