Tony Ferguson Injured; Max Holloway Now Faces Khabib Nurmagomedov in UFC 223 Main Event
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.
BOOM!!!!!! We got Khabib vs The Champ Max Holloway for the 155lb title this Saturday in Brooklyn New York!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/quvI3UqGXh
— Dana White (@danawhite) April 1, 2018
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.