UFC 223 has gone from amazing, to not bad, to nightmare. Sprinkle in some Conor McGregor nonsense and the circus is now complete.
Max Holloway (pictured) has been declared medically unfit to compete for the (vacant?) UFC lightweight title against Khabib Nurmagomedov in Saturday’s main event.
Holloway, the UFC featherweight champion, accepted the scrap on only six days’ notice after interim lightweight champ Tony Ferguson was forced out of his long awaited and highly anticipated showdown with Nurmagomedov with an injury.
The UFC did not state the exact reason why Holloway was pulled, but it was due to weight cutting issues. Although Holloway was moving back up in weight to face the undefeated Russian, it was likely the Hawaiian was well above the required 155 pound limit for a lightweight title tilt when he agreed to the tango.
Holloway issued an apologetic tweet after physicians didn’t allow him to continue his weight cut:
. @TeamKhabib my brother I want to keep going but they are stopping me. Sorry to your team and the fans. You don’t deserve this. This is number one. Shout outs to you and @Showtimepettis . Give the fans what they deserve
— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) April 6, 2018
It is unknown if Holloway (most likely not) or Nurmagomedov will still be paid their show money.
UFC 223 was quite promising when Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson for the lightweight crown was initially announced. The rematch between Namajunas and Jedrzejczyk as the co-featured attraction was icing on the cake. Then the card took a nosedive when Ferguson exited.
The lineup lost three fights yesterday when McGregor lost his mind and started smashing the glass of the bus transporting fighters back to the hotel with hand trucks and rails. Michael Chiesa suffered several cuts to his face from flying shards of glass, and Ray Borg reportedly had glass in his eyes. They were both removed from their respective bouts.
Artem Lobov was yanked from his bout against Alex Caceres because he helped teammate McGregor during the melee.
McGregor was arrested late Thursday night and is due in court later today.
The UFC did not mention who will now headline tomorrow’s show inside Barclays Center in Brooklyn, but the obvious choice is the co-main event between women’s strawweight champ Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
There are rumblings the UFC is trying to keep Nurmagomedov in the card against Anthony Pettis, who was originally slated to fight Chiesa, but Pettis is running short on time to hit the scale for this morning’s early weigh-ins. Stay tuned…
Here is UFC 223’s current lineup:
(UFC Fight Pass 6:15PM ET/3:15PM PT)
Kyle Bochniak vs. Zabit Magomedsharipov
Devin Clark vs. Mike Rodriguez
Ashlee Evans-Smith vs. Bec Rawlings
(Fox Sports 1 8PM ET/5PM PT)
Evan Dunham vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier
Chris Gruetzemacher vs. Joe Lauzon
Felice Herrig vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz
(Pay-Per-View 10PM ET/7PM PT)
Paul Felder vs. Al Iaquinta
Calvin Kattar vs. Renato Moicano
Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Rose Namajunas (UFC women’s strawweight champion)