Holloway replaces injured Ferguson at UFC 223

Khabib Nurmagomedov prepares to face Edson Barboza

Khabib Nurmagomedov prepares to face Edson Barboza

UFC President Dana White announced the fight on Twitter saying that Ferguson suffered a knee injury and had to pull out of the fight.

"I don't think Conor McGregor could make the weight on six days notice", White said. "That's a tough weight cut for him", White said, according to ESPN. "I even talked about it happening but when it got like three to four weeks out, I just said 'F**k it, these guys are gonna fight".

What makes life even more intriguing is the victor of the main event at UFC 223 will either be a man who has repeatedly called the Notorious one out or a man who will hold both the belts the Irishman never lost.

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Featherweight champion Max Holloway (19-3 MMA, 15-3 UFC) will step up weight classes for Saturday's fight in Brooklyn. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.

Khabib Nurmagomedov is officially a cursed fight. He said he's staying ready but he's no where to be found. In similar situations in the past, the fight promotion didn't strip the interim champion of the title unless he was sidelined for a considerable amount of time.

Ferguson didn't think the injury was that serious, and that he worked through it until an MRI on March 31st.

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Would you have liked to see Brian Ortega face Khabib Nurmagomedov instead?

Most recently, the French Canadian won the middleweight title at UFC 217 in November with a third-round submission win over then-champion Michael Bisping.

The news broke on Easter Sunday that Ferguson was out of the title fight. Nurmagomedov was forced to pull out back in 2015 due to a rib injury. To give even more reason for excitement, both Holloway and Khabib have openly expressed interest in bringing the UFC to their respective homelands (Holloway is from Hawaii while Khabib is from Russia) and bringing the victor of this fight to their home, would truly be an incredible moment in UFC history. This will also give Holloway the chance to become the only other fighter besides Conor McGregor to hold two belts simultaneously. When White stated that the interim title would go away, Ferguson was shocked.

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