As reported earlier, Tony Ferguson will be unable to compete in the main event of UFC 223 due to injury. Ferguson was scheduled to defend his Interim Lightweight Championship against Khabib Nurmagomedov; this was the fourth time a scheduled fight between these two fighters has fallen apart.
Nurmagomedov will now face current Featherweight Champion Max Holloway for the Undisputed Lightweight Championship. Ferguson’s interim belt will go away according to UFC President Dana White and current Lightweight Champ Conor McGregor’s reign will officially come to an end on the night of the fight.
Ferguson released the following statement (in all caps) via social media following the announcement of his withdrawal from the fight:
Words Can’t Explain How Hurt, Frustrated, Angry And In Disbelief I Am Right Now. As I Was Completing My UFC Pre-Fight Media Obligations On Friday I Had An Accident On A Studio Set That Tore A Ligament In My Knee. My Doctor And The UFC Doctor Both Said I Can’t Fight And One Is Saying I Need Surgery, So I Will See A Specialist To Make The Final Determination On How I Can Heal Up And Get Back In There To Defend My Belt ASAP. I Want To Apologize To My Fans, The UFC, Khabib, My Teammates, My Coaches, My Friends, And Most Importantly My Family. Happy Easter To Everyone Out There, I Believe There Is A Silver Lining In This Nightmare Of A Reality, Because This Isn’t An April Fools. Good Health And Blessings To You All.
Nurmagomedov responded to the news with the following:
Tony heal up man. Just want to advise you, don’t talk too much anymore. Lot of thoughts in my head right now, but I don’t want to become like you. Hope, this lesson will teach you watch your mouth. ❗ На счёт этой ситуации я просто хочу сказать Тони: больше не болтай, в голове конечно много мыслей, на тебя похожим не буду, надеюсь этот урок научит тебя следить за языком. #ready #ufc223 #Alhamdulillah #победатолькоотВсевышнего