Tony Ferguson will not be competing against Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title at UFC 223 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn this Saturday.
Ferguson took to social media last night to reveal that he suffered a torn knee ligament in an accident on a studio set while fulfilling his prefight media obligations on Friday, and will therefore be unable to compete this weekend. It marks the fourth different time that the UFC has tried, and failed, to book Ferguson vs Nurmagomedov.
Instead, featherweight champion Max Holloway will step in on short notice.
According to ESPN, Dana White has said that Ferguson will lose his interim title as a result, meaning the winner Holloway vs Nurmagomedov will be the new champion. "That goes away," White said, per ESPN. "This fight is for the title. The winner this fight will be the champion."
As now, Conor McGregor is still the ficial lightweight champion, but he'll lose that designation after Saturday's headliner. It is expected that McGregor will compete against whoever becomes champion sometime later this year.
Holloway, 19-3, has not lost a fight since 2013 when McGregor beat him by decision. Nurmagomedov has an unblemished record 25-0, and has opened as a minus-505 betting favorite against Holloway (plus-365), according to MMAOddsBreaker.com.