Tony Ferguson Withdraws From UFC 223, Max Holloway Named Replacement

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It's the fight that just isn't meant to be.

Nurmagomedov spoke at length about the impact of Ferguson's freak knee injury - suffered during a fall at a TV studio - during Monday's appearance on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani.

However, Ferguson's "ligament tore completely off the bone" late last week, according to Okamoto. Each time, the fight didn't materialize, first due to a Nurmagomedov injury, then a Ferguson lung issue. The pair was scheduled to meet in December 2015, and again in April 2016, and once more last March. Both competitors have been forced to withdraw on two occasions.

White is all about the money when it comes to the UFC and when you have a star like McGregor, the UFC president says he would never just throw him into a fight.

"I saw [Max's manager Brian Butler's] number show up on my phone, and he was like, "Hey man, do you think you can get Max down to 155?" and he gave me his weight". Opportunities like this come once in a lifetime.

The victor of Holloway and Nurmagomedov will be named the undisputed lightweight champion, taking the title away from McGregor, who hasn't competed in UFC since November 2016. "And when you think about it, if he wins this fight, other than Conor McGregor, he will be the only guy to hold two belts at the same time".

Nurmagomedov said if Holloway can't make weight, he'll still fight him - provided he, too, makes weight and is eligible to win the title. "He is already middleweight and welterweight champion".

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He tweeted: "To keep it real here @TheNotoriousMMA is one of the fakest champions ufc ever had".

The Fight Night card in Liverpool is headlined by top-ranked welterweight Stephen Thompson facing Liverpudlian Darren Till on his home soil in a much-anticipated fight between a top contender and a potential future superstar.

"I do not understand", Nurmagomedov said. "But I didn't feel like anybody else felt that way, and I wasn't sure that the women's division could survive without me". I'm more smart than tough.

The good news is that the undefeated Avar mixed martial artist will still have a shot at the UFC Lightweight Championship... that is, against the UFC's Featherweight Champion Max Holloway.

MMA fans have gone used to turning on their televisions on Saturday night and tuning into UFC.

At UFC 205, when Khabib was clipped by his opponent Michael Johnson early, the manner in which he rebounded was not only a testament to his elite-level skillset, but also to his grit and determination.