"Tony Ferguson is injured, but the lovely thing about this sport - the stud, 145-pound champion Max Holloway is going to step up and face Khabib this Saturday in Brooklyn, New York, and it is for the official 155-pound title". He also insisted that UFC president Dana White strip both inactive champion Conor McGregor and interim titleholder Ferguson before the fight.
"I don't think Conor McGregor could make the weight on six days notice", White said. "That's a tough weight cut for him", White said. "I think about maybe [Dustin] Poirier, [Eddie] Alvarez, maybe [Michael] Chiesa or [Paul] Felder or [Al] Iaquinta or [Anthony] Pettis, because these guys fight with me on same night". McGregor hasn't fought in the octagon since winning the lightweight belt at UFC 205 in November 2016.
With Conor McGregor previously holding both belts, the Irishman seems destined to face the victor in a massive fight later this year.
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Bookies have been scrambling to finalize their odds for this weekend's lightweight championship bout with the announcement that Max Holloway will step in for the injured Tony Ferguson at UFC 223 (now available on Amazon Prime). Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.
White said the promotion did not reach out to McGregor as a potential replacement for Ferguson.
"I woke up Saturday with even more pain, but I tried to push through it and train again", he said. White also stated that the interim belt that Ferguson now holds will be stripped and he may not even be guaranteed to battle the victor between Khabib and Holloway. He's still recovering from a leg injury, which forced him to pull out of his fight with Frankie Edgar back in February.
However, it won't happen as Ferguson had to pull out of the fight with an injury. Not only that, but Holloway is the champion of the featherweight division, not the lightweight one. Lack of training camp aside, it will be interesting to see how Holloway's injury holds up against Khabib. But it's fair to wonder whether McGregor will fight the victor of Saturday's showdown.