Max Holloway to Fight Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 After Ferguson Injury

Oct 7 2017 Las Vegas NV USA Tony Ferguson reacts after defeating Kevin Lee in the third round during UFC 216 at T Mobile Arena. Mandatory Credit Joshua Dahl-USA TODAY Sports

Although many called for the "Notorious" to enter the octagon at short notice and battle Nurmagomedov, UFC president Dana White insisted September is a more likely date for McGregor's return.

Tony Ferguson will not be competing against Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title at UFC 223 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn this Saturday. Featherweight champ Max Holloway will reportedly fight Khabib for Tony's interim title. Holloway is aiming to become a two-division champion. Not only did he miss two full years due to a knee injury between 2014 and 2016, he withdrew from his third attempt at facing Ferguson last March for the interim 155-pound title after being hospitalized for a hard weight cut.

As "Blessed" prepared to board a flight for NY to take on Khabib Nurmagomedov this weekend, KHON2 Sports Director Rob DeMello caught up with Holloway at the airport. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.

According to Bloody Elbow, he said: "I don't think Conor McGregor could make the weight on six days' notice".

Ferguson has pulled out from the event due to a torn knee ligament suffered in an accident on a studio set and tweeted confirmation of the news on Sunday.

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"I respect him, Aloha Max, but he's champion for a reason at 145". "I think Poirier, Alvarez ... maybe Chiesa, Pettis because these guys fight same night". So I was like, how do you turn down an opportunity like this?

Alternatively, if you don't have BT Sport, you can watch the preliminary fights on the UFC's Fight Pass service.

"I think because first April". "You know what they say, "to beat the best you've got to be the best', and the best is Blessed, baby. I need to fight for the title". The news has robbed UFC fans of one of the most compelling UFC match-ups - for the fourth time. "He's a fighter's champion".

"No one is like me", Nurmagomedov said. "I don't want to fight for the money". "He is already middleweight and welterweight champion".

Holloway has won 12 straight fights and a 13th straight win would put him in elite company and tie him for second place with Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre and Demetrious Johnson.

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