Photo by Damon Martin

Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov Official for UFC 223; Conor McGregor’s Title Situation Still Unclear

UFC 223 has a huge lightweight main event but is this the end of Conor McGregor's title reign?

UFC 223 has just secured a main event as interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson will face off with undefeated Russian wrecking machine Khabib Nurmagomedov in a title fight atop the upcoming card on April 7 from Brooklyn, NY.

UFC officials announced the news on Thursday.

Now here’s where things get interesting.

On the UFC’s official website, the listing states “interim” champion when addressing Ferguson taking on Nurmagomedov with no other mention of the lightweight title currently being held by Conor McGregor.

UFC president Dana White had said numerous times that if McGregor wasn’t willing to book his return fight before a rumored date in September that he would have no choice but to strip him of the lightweight champion.

As of now, there’s no clear indication that McGregor was stripped or that Ferguson and Nurmagomedov are competing for the real lightweight championship. Previously that was a point of contention with Nurmagomedov as he had stated he only wanted to compete for the real belt, not an interim title.

The UFC has scheduled a press conference for Friday to discuss the particulars surrounding the UFC 223 main event so perhaps White will make an announcement at that time about the title situation regarding the matchup.

For now, Ferguson and Nurmagomedov will begin preparation for their upcoming fight as they are now scheduled to meet for the fourth time after the previous three attempts to get them into the Octagon together have failed.

Injuries from both fighters prevented two of those bouts with the third coming last March when Nurmagomedov was forced out of the fight due to medical issues related to his weight cut. Now hopefully the fourth time is the charm as Ferguson and Nurmagomedov look to settle the score once and for all.

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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.