Ferguson has pulled out from the event due to a torn knee ligament suffered in an accident on a studio set and tweeted confirmation of the news on Sunday. But the native of Dagestan couldn't quite get over Holloway's boldness. "Because I deserve to fight for the title".
All seemed to be going according to plan just days before the fight.
MMA fans now have mixed feelings about what went down on Saturday with the shocking news that Tony Ferguson has injured his knee and won't be able to compete against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223. Because six days? You can't train. "I get to share the Octagon with the guy April 7th". I'm more smart than tough. "Nobody wrestled with him", Nurmagomedov said. You think when you fight.
Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson has been booked four times for December 11, 2015, April 16, 2016, March 4, 2017, and April 7, 2018.
But be that as it may, Nurmagomedov also knows Holloway hasn't faced anyone like him.
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UFC President Dana White announced the news only hours ago on social media.
Holloway is the current featherweight champion and has agreed to step up a division for his shot at becoming a two-weight champion.
"Hell no!" White told ESPN if he would try to reschedule the match up again. "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". But they called me and said, 'Hey. I've got business to handle at 145.
Alternatively, if you don't have BT Sport, you can watch the preliminary fights on the UFC's Fight Pass service. "I said, you know, 'doesn't matter.' I say, 'if this is for real belt, I say yes'". "But now he's in different territory, different weight class, different animal". I'm young, hungry, now my time is coming. "He's a very good fighter, I respect him like fighter, and I'm preparing like it's going to be the hardest fight of my life".
But Holloway? Holloway never crossed Nurmagomedov's mind as a replacement opponent.