Feguson v. Nurmagomedov falls through yet again.
Tony Ferguson will not be competing against Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title at UFC 223 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn this Saturday.
Ferguson took to social media last night to reveal that he suffered a torn knee ligament in an accident on a studio set while fulfilling his prefight media obligations on Friday, and will therefore be unable to compete this weekend. It marks the fourth different time that the UFC has tried, and failed, to book Ferguson vs Nurmagomedov.
Instead, featherweight champion Max Holloway will step in on short notice.
According to ESPN, Dana White has said that Ferguson will lose his interim title as a result, meaning the winner of Holloway vs Nurmagomedov will be the new champion. "That goes away," White said, per ESPN. "This fight is for the title. The winner of this fight will be the champion."
As of now, Conor McGregor is still the official lightweight champion, but he'll lose that designation after Saturday's headliner. It is expected that McGregor will compete against whoever becomes champion sometime later this year.
"I don't think Conor McGregor could make the weight on six days' notice. That's a tough weight cut for him," White said, according to ESPN. "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.
"I think Conor could return in September, and it could be against one of these guys."
Holloway, 19-3, has not lost a fight since 2013 when McGregor beat him by decision. Nurmagomedov has an unblemished record of 25-0, and has opened as a minus-505 betting favorite against Holloway (plus-365), according to MMAOddsBreaker.com.