Tony Ferguson is Out of UFC 223 Lightweight Title Fight, but Max Holloway is Ready to Save the Day…
Whatever voodoo gods have put a curse on this fight happening, will you please stop? Tony Ferguson vs Khabib Nurmagamedov is off after Ferguson tore his LCL a couple of days ago. The pair were meant to duke it out for the UFC lightweight title on April 7 at UFC 223, in Brooklyn. It isn’t all bad news though because Max Holloway is going to save the day.
It’s so frustrating for fight fans because this is, on paper, one of the best match-ups in the division. Two elite fighters with incredible records, ready to slug it out and replace Conor McGregor at the top of the food chain. This is the fourth time it has been canceled, which is simply ludicrous for all the wrong reasons.
Now the UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway is going to replace Ferguson. The Hawaiian suddenly has the opportunity to become the first man to emulate McGregor and win titles in two divisions. You have to feel for Ferguson. The man is surely devastated.
The fight between Ferguson and Khabib is off. There is literally no chance of the Californian being fit. UFC President Dana White explained to ESPN that Ferguson had torn his LCL. He said:
“He actually tore it off the bone, he’s gonna need surgery on his knee.
It’s the worst news possible for Ferguson and just shows how cruel the fight game can be. He was the UFC interim lightweight champion, but that will mean nothing now after Holloway and Nurmagamedov scrap for the real thing. The division is going to pass him by while he takes six months to get fit. See his full Instagram post below.
For Holloway, this is a massive opportunity. ‘Blessed’ is truly living up to his nickname. He was meant to defend his featherweight title against Frankie Edgar, but injuries prevented him from fighting. Now he’s just fit again in time to try and become the second man to hold two titles at the same time.
“As soon as these guys step in the ring and throw a punch, it’s on for the title. Whoever wins, wins the title and we’ll see what happens with Conor over the next several months. I know he had expressed some interest in fighting in September.”
It’s crazy but McGregor was the last man Holloway lost to, back in 2013. The young man has come a long way since then, and a rematch could be a genuinely exciting prospect. However, he has to get past one of the most frightening fighters on the entire roster in Nurmagamedov.
For his part, Nurmagamedov seemed somewhat sympathetic. Not much has changed for him. The Dagestani is still going to be facing a striker and is still fighting for the title. He did make sure to land a few blows when he said:
“Tony heal up man. Just want to advise you, don’t talk too much anymore. Lots of thoughts in my head right now, but I don’t want to become like you. Hope this lesson will teach you to watch your mouth.”
Ouch. No mercy from Khabib. To be fair, Ferguson had been extremely outspoken in press conferences, so there was little love lost between the two men. Now it’s come back to bite him and the circus must move on. It’s still going to be an amazing fight, but the drama is ridiculous.