Tony Ferguson Injured; Max Holloway Now Faces Khabib Nurmagomedov in UFC 223 Main Event

A new lightweight champion will be crowned at UFC 223 as featherweight king Max Holloway steps up on less than a week's notice to face Khabib Nurmagomedov in Brooklyn.

Interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson has suffered a knee injury that will force him out of the UFC 223 main event.

In his place steps featherweight champion Max Holloway, who will now take on Khabib Nurmagomedov on just six days notice to determine a new UFC lightweight champion. As for Ferguson, he has been stripped of his interim lightweight title to make room for Nurmagomedov and Holloway to battle for the undisputed championship on Saturday night.

UFC president Dana White confirmed the news on Sunday.

This marks the fourth time that a fight between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson has been cancelled as the matchup almost seems cursed to never actually happen. There’s no word yet on the severity of Ferguson’s injury but it was bad enough to force him out of the fight.

As for Holloway, he will step up on extremely short notice with a chance to become a two division champion and only the second fighter in UFC history to hold two belts simultaneously. The other is Conor McGregor.

Holloway has been rehabbing an injured ankle that kept him out of UFC 222 last month but it appears he’s healthy enough now to accept a fight with Nurmagomedov on six days notice.

Nurmagomedov vs. Holloway will now headliner UFC 223 with the co-main event pitting strawweight champion Rose Namajunas against Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.