Max Holloway stepping in keeps main event, raises excitement for UFC 223

04 April 2018, 01:31 | Kristine Mills

Conor Mc Gregor response

Conor Mc Gregor response

Fight week kicks off with a shocking announcement from UFC President Dana White, and Nurmagomedov reacts to the news that his opponent will be featherweight champion Max Holloway.

White says McGregor could be in line to face the victor in a potential September scrap.

In an interview with KHON 2 in Hawaii (via MMA Junkie), Max Holloway spoke about his excitement for his lightweight title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 this Saturday. "That's a tough weight cut for him", White explained Sunday to ESPN's Brett Okamoto. But I still want this fight.

"I think he wants to do what the other champion didn't and make a statement, make a point that way", Holloway's manager, Brian Butler-Au said to The MMA Hour.

Nate Diaz has taken aim at interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson over his withdrawal from his UFC 223 bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov.

'He's a stud. The guy hasn't lost a fight since 2013, and that was a decision to Conor McGregor, ' White added.

Saturday night was supposed to be the long awaited fight between Ferguson and Nurmagomedov, with the fight being scheduled three previous times.

McGregors Belt
Tony Ferguson v Khabib Nurmagomedov has fallen through for the fourth time. Pic Jeff Bottari Zuffa LLC Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Now the popular 26-year-old is stepping up to lightweight for the first time in his career to face the 25-0 phenom Nurmagomedov, who has torn through the UFC's lightweight division since his arrival, winning all nine of his bouts inside the octagon.

"I mean seriously, there is a precedent for having a fight for a "real" title and keeping an "interim" title intact".

Secondly, both Khabib and Holloway have a common enemy in Conor McGregor, the current lightweight title holder.

UFC 223 is set to take place on Saturday, April 7, 2018, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.

Just two month ago, Max Holloway pulled out of his March 3 title defense against Frankie Edgar due to a leg injury.

Holloway has agreed to come in as the replacement fighter, and should he defeat Nurmagomedov, he will match McGregor's record of holding two belts at the same time.

White said after the event that he was embarrassed and promised to one day make it up to the fans of Calgary. "He's a fighter's champion".

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