Nurmagomedov's original opponent, the interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson, had to pull out from the fight less than a week ago, due to a knee injury.
The weekend has gone from bad to worse for UFC president Dana White and mixed martial arts fans as UFC 223's main event lightweight title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Max Holloway has been called off.
"Showtime" was considered the early front-runner for the Nurmagomedov fight as he has the highest profile and once held the UFC lightweight title.
Max Holloway was ruled out of his scheduled showdown with Nurmagomedov by the New York State Athletic Commission on Friday morning, ESPN first reported. Anthony Pettis became the top candidate to replace Holloway, but that fell through because of a money dispute with the UFC. (For non-title fights, fighters are granted a one-pound allowance to account for differences in scales.) Shortly afterward, NYSAC officials removed the scale and said Pettis would not be weighing in again. McGregor last fought in a boxing loss to Floyd Mayweather Jr. on August 26, 2017.
The changes could mean that the main event of UFC 223 will feature two completely new fighters.
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Nate Diaz's interesting take on the Conor McGregor alleged bus attack-madness in Brooklyn has got a lot of people talking. Iaquinta was due to fight on the undercard of UFC 223, and his appearance at yesterday's media day illustrates the absurd nature of the opportunity presented to the knockout artist.
Throughout fight week Holloway declined to reveal his weight or where he weight cut began.
Featherweight Artem Lobov, who is a teammate and close friend of McGregor, was also pulled from the card because of his involvement in the McGregor incident. The fight would be for the lightweight title, but only for Khabib to win as he made championship weight.
"I am laughing inside", Nurmagomedov said.
The UFC continues to make news for all the wrong reasons, this time losing its main event for Saturday's UFC 223.