The fourth time wasn't the charm for Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson, but Max Holloway isn't your typical replacement option.
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White told ESPN that Ferguson will now lose his interim championship title, and the victor of the Nurmagomedov-Holloway fight will become the organization's lightweight champion.
Ferguson is out of the equation and loses his interim lightweight belt, a crushing blow for a man riding a 10-fight win streak. White noted that he doesn't think McGregor could make weight with less than a week to go before fight night. "That's a tough weight cut for him", White said, according to ESPN. He's a guy I want to make a fight with and have the right amount of time to promote the fight. "Max Holloway, I've heard him in interview say, 'I don't care about the belt, I care about check.' I think UFC tell him we are going to give you good money and you have to come here and he said of course". Nurmagomedov was forced to pull out back in 2015 due to a rib injury.
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"To be honest, if you ask me, I'd never take this", Nurmagomedov said. The bout between the two has been booked a total of 4 times now with both fighters having pulled out two times each. "I mean, the guy's not in the picture. I know he had expressed some interest in fighting in September".
UFC 223 was supposed to be headlined by interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson against Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed lightweight championship. He won the title at UFC 216 in October by submitting Kevin Lee. The Rose Namajunas-Joanna Jedrzejczyk co-main event for the UFC Women's Strawweight title, in particular, has "Fight of the Year" potential. But it's fair to wonder whether McGregor will fight the victor of Saturday's showdown.
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But keep in mind that three years ago after losing in the Miami first round, the Argentine left ranked No. 555. Despite his booming and crowd-pleasing serve, Isner would have to be considered the underdog against Zverev.
With all the movement that has taken place in the featherweight division over the last six months, it's understandable that the 28-year-old Brazilian has gotten lost in the shuffle, but that should change heading into this weekend.