UFC 223 has taken a massive blow with the news that Tony Ferguson has had to pull out of his eagerly anticipated lightweight title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov just a week out from the fight due to a freak injury.
Ferguson reportedly tore a ligament in his knee in the midst of a whirlwind media tour at FOX HQ in Los Angeles on Friday and was left but no choice but to pull out of the fight.
At first the news was treated as an April fool’s joke, but UFC President Dana White then spoke out to confirm that it was indeed true.
“Unfortunately this is not an April Fools,” White said in a video posted on Twitter. “Tony is out; he hurt his knee. Tony Ferguson is injured.
However, it seems the UFC had been working hard behind the scenes since the freak accident occured and so White had some big news to share.
“The beautiful thing about this sport is that the stud 145-pound champion Max Holloway is gonna step up and face Khabib this Saturday in Brooklyn, N.Y., and it is for the official 155-pound title,” White announced.
Its good that there’s still going to be a huge fight topping the bill at UFC 223 this weekend, but as intriguing as Holloway Vs Nurmagomedov is, its far from an ideal scenario.
Holloway deserves a lot of credit for putting his 12-fight winning streak on the line, but dealing with an undefeated grappling monster like Nurmagomedov in his 155lb debut on just a weeks notice is an exceptionally difficult task.
On the other hand, Nurmagomedov has shown in some recent fights that he’s not invulnerable at striking range and Holloway is certainly someone who could punish him in that regard.