This time last week, Tony Ferguson was the interim UFC lightweight champion and wrapping up the final days of his training camp to face Khabib Nurmagomedov in the UFC 223 main event for the undisputed lightweight title.
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. "I think most guys at 155, especially in the top five, can't make that 155-pound limit on six days' notice". Although, you could argue that the rib injury, the lung problem and the bad weight cut only cranked up the pressure on both men to impress after trying to make it to the Octagon since 2015.
'And Conor is not the guy I want to throw in as a late replacement fighter.
White says McGregor could be in line to face the victor in a potential September scrap.
'My first option when Tony's out I say 'hey, where's Conor?
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In an interview with KHON 2 in Hawaii (via MMA Junkie), Max Holloway spoke about his excitement for his lightweight title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 this Saturday. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.
Kalikas talked to MMA Junkie about the new odds: "Holloway is a warrior for stepping up, and I will never count the guy out", Kalikas stated. He added that he wants the "right amount of time" to promote a fight involving McGregor. "That being said, Holloway's finishing ability comes from wearing down his opponent, and to me, this is a stylistically bad matchup".
Ferguson is out of the equation and loses his interim lightweight belt, a crushing blow for a man riding a 10-fight win streak. "I know he had expressed some interest in fighting in September". 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.
Holloway would also become the fifth fighter in UFC history to win a belt in two different weight classes (Couture, Penn, McGregor, St-Pierre).