UFC 223: Max Holloway out, Anthony Pettis set to face Khabib Nurmagomedov
Up until last weekend, Khabib Nurmagomedov had been training to face Tony Ferguson in the main event at UFC 223. When the bell rings on Saturday night at Barclays Center, Nurmagomedov will be squaring off against Ferguson's replacement's replacement.
Max Holloway was ruled out of his scheduled showdown with Nurmagomedov by the New York State Athletic Commission on Friday morning, ESPN first reported.
UFC has asked Anthony Pettis to step in after his bout against Michael Chiesa was scrapped in the wake of the Conor McGregor melee on Thursday.
Holloway was deemed medically unfit to fight due to the extreme weight cut required for the short turnaround after he accepted the bout against Nurmagomedov on Sunday following an injury to Ferguson.
He duly sent a tweet to Nurmagomedov, which read: "My brother I want to keep going but they are stopping me. Sorry to your team and the fans."
. @TeamKhabib my brother I want to keep going but they are stopping me. Sorry to your team and the fans. You don't deserve this. This is number one. Shout outs to you and @Showtimepettis . Give the fans what they deserve-- Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) April 6, 2018
It is unclear how much weight Holloway needed to drop to get to 155 pounds by Friday's scheduled weigh-in, but he had not been actively training in recent weeks after being scratched from UFC 222 last month due to an ankle injury.