Tony Ferguson has suffered an injury, which has been described as a freak accident, and is now out of UFC 223. UFC president Dana White has confirmed that featherweight champion Max Holloway has stepped up to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title at UFC 223.
ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported that Tony Ferguson tripped while he walking when he unexpectedly saw someone familiar. This was the third time the UFC has tried to book a fight between Ferguson and Nurmagomedov.
Dana White confirmed that Tony Ferguson will be stripped of the interim lightweight title, and it is still unclear whether Conor McGregor is the champion.
Max Holloway and Khabib Nurmagomedov will be fighting for the “real” lightweight championship. Therefore, McGregor may officially be stripped of his title on the night of the fight.
Holloway and Nurmagomedov will bring a combined 21-fight winning streak to UFC 223, which is the longest in a UFC matchup.
The fight is under one week away and Ferguson’s injury comes as a surprise. The Mexican-American fighter has yet to respond to the news on his Instagram and Twitter accounts.
Okamoto states that Ferguson injured his knee. The ligament tore completely off the bone and the 34-year-old fighter will require surgery.
Ferguson is known for his unorthodox training methods, such as kicking a steel pipe and taking several kicks to the ribs. However, the injury is being reported as a freak accident that did not occur during training.
— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) April 2, 2018
— BJ Penn (@bjpenndotcom) April 1, 2018
I'm told Holloway is still in Hawaii, UFC making flight arrangements being made now. Khabib already in Brooklyn, as he was scheduled for a media day. Ferguson injury happened last Thursday, MRI this weekend showed torn knee. Heartbreaking.
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) April 1, 2018
McGregor was yet to react to the news, but has criticized fighters in his division for not showing up to fights. After winning the title in 2016 against Eddie Alvarez, McGregor accused Khabib of being a “pull out merchant.”
— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) March 31, 2018
Conor McGregor has received a lot of criticism for not defending the lightweight title for about 500 days, despite not being injured. The Irish superstar has been accused of holding up the division, while others shift the blame to Dana White for allowing Conor to hold on to the belt.
BOOM!!!!!! We got Khabib vs The Champ Max Holloway for the 155lb title this Saturday in Brooklyn New York!!!!!!! pic.twitter.com/quvI3UqGXh
— Dana White (@danawhite) April 1, 2018
It is unclear how long Tony Ferguson will be out of competition at this point. He has the longest active winning streak in the division, but he was coming into the Khabib fight as an underdog.