So we're on our way to Brooklyn for UFC 223 Fight Week, and the highly anticipated main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov has just been cancelled. But, while discussing Ferguson's withdrawal with ESPN, Dana White said that the lightweight would cease to be the interim champ, once Holloway - Nurmagomedov begins (McGregor will also lose the title). How would Max make it to 155 on just six days notice? "That's a tough weight cut for him", White said. "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". My doctor and the UFC doctor both said I can't fight and one is saying I need surgery, so I will see a specialist to make the final determination on how I can heal up and get back in there to defend my belt ASAP.
'My first option when Tony's out I say 'hey, where's Conor? Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow. It takes a lot of time and costs a lot of money to properly promote and market a fight of that magnitude.
"My manager called me". It marks the fourth different time that the UFC has tried, and failed, to book Ferguson vs Nurmagomedov.
"And whoever wins, wins the title and we'll see what happens with Conor over the next several months".
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Still, Nurmagomedov admits, the name Holloway was never one that crossed his mind, especially considering the featherweight champion pulled out of his own March 3 title defense against Brian Ortega with an ankle injury.
On top of that, Holloway vs. Nurmagomedov is still a supremely intriguing fight and the other fights on the card have the potential to be memorable encounters as well. "I think Holloway is not any less interesting than Ferguson".
With former megastars like Ronda Rousey and Brock Lesnar now in the WWE and past long-time champions like Georges St. Pierre and Jon Jones having unclear futures in the sport, McGregor is more important than ever to the UFC.
The news broke on Easter Sunday that Ferguson was out of the title fight. That's why if he beats Holloway, he will be pushing for a fight against former UFC welterweight and middleweight champion Georges St-Pierre.