It emerged on Sunday night that the much-anticipated UFC fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson had been canceled for the fourth time, this time due to an injury to Ferguson.
The new UFC 223 headliner almost could have featured the featherweight division's No. 1 contender instead of its champion. If Holloway wins, he'll follow Conor McGregor as the only fighter to hold two titles simultaneously.
"Conor is not the guy I want to throw in as a late replacement fighter", he said. Unfortunately, Ferguson was forced to withdraw just six days before the fight after suffering a torn knee ligament, per Brett Okamoto of ESPN. You can check out his message here. "The great thing about this sport, the stud, Max Holloway, is gonna step up and face Khabib for the official 155-pound title". "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".
"I think that Conor could return in September and it could be against one of these guys", White said. "He told me that, 'Tony is hurt, and they want you and Khabib.' So I was like, 'How do you turn down an opportunity like this?' Opportunities like this come once in a lifetime". "I'm glad to be the second guy and go out there and make history", said Holloway.
"We're ready to fight with him any time and under any circumstances". "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". "Because I deserve to fight for the title".
Holloway has won 12 consecutive fights and the 26-year-old could shoot to an unprecedented level of stardom by beating the so far untouchable Nurmagomedov. But now, he is on different territory, different weight class, different animals.
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