While Conor McGregor (21-3) is the UFC's official lightweight champion, he is expected to lose the title to the victor of Nurmagomedov-Holloway. due to being inactive for almost two years within the promotion.
The good news is that the undefeated Avar mixed martial artist will still have a shot at the UFC Lightweight Championship... that is, against the UFC's Featherweight Champion Max Holloway. While there's no legitimate way to knock on UFC 223's new Nurmagomedov vs. Holloway headliner, it's safe to say the promotion had a solid backup plan in place in the event that Holloway wasn't able to step up. I'm here on six days notice, April 7th.
The California-born fighter was due to take on Khabib Nurmagomedov in a lightweight title fight at UFC 223 in Brooklyn on 7 April.
Instead, the undisputed UFC lightweight championship is going to be on the line as the unsafe Dagestani battles current featherweight champion Max Holloway in what should remain as the main event on Saturday night.
Obviously, he didn't have time to properly prepare for the out, as Nurmagomedov's original opponent Tony Ferguson pulled out just six days from fight night. "This fight is for the title". Then, Nurmagomedov's botched weight cut forced him out of UFC 209's co-main for the interim strap.
'He's the type of guy that steps up for opportunities like this. UFC 223 is packed with a number of exciting fights including the co-main event which will see former UFC strawweight queen Joanna Jedrzejczyk look to reclaim her belt from current champion Rose Namajunas. "Like to be honest, if someone asked me, if Dana (White) asked me to fight after one month, I would never take this because I care about my legacy".
White told ESPN: "He actually tore it off the bone, he's gonna need surgery on his knee. He's a fighter's champion".