UFC 223 was supposed to be headlined by interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson against Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed lightweight championship.
The UFC salvaged the show by replacing Ferguson with featherweight champion Max Holloway, and declaring that the victor would be the outright lightweight champion.
“He wants to fight for the money”. “I respect him – aloha Max! He champion for a reason at 145”. “I said yes. Eventually, Max replied and Dana gave him the fight”. “I don’t want to fight for the money. I don’t need fight for the money”. “Every person is different”. UFC’s name is UFC.
White said the promotion did not reach out to McGregor as a potential replacement for Ferguson.
MMA Oddsbreaker now has Holloway as the +365 underdog with Nurmagomedov coming in as a -505 favourite.
Anyway, Holloway vs Nurmagomedov should be interesting to say the least.
“They called the right guy”.
UFC 223 at Barclays Center received a major shakeup less than a week before fight night. One person who definitely predicted it was her opponent, Thug Rose. The only other fighter to have done so is global superstar Conor McGregor.
For Khabib and Holloway it presents a chance they may not have expected.
“No one is like me”, Nurmagomedov said. It takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money to properly promote and market a fight of that magnitude. “Max is undeniably validating his “anybody, anytime, anywhere” philosophy by stepping up a weight class to battle an undefeated fighter with only six days to prepare”.
UFC 223 will be bittersweet.
According to ESPN, Dana White has said that Ferguson will lose his interim title as a result, meaning the victor of Holloway vs Nurmagomedov will be the new champion.
Nurmagomedov suspects that Holloway took this fight for the money, not for the belt.