When Khabib Nurmagomedov first received the phone call on Sunday telling him that his lightweight championship bout against Tony Ferguson at UFC 223 was canceled for the fourth straight time, like many on April Fools' Day, he immediately thought it was a joke. "I think Conor could return in September and it could be against one of these (Holloway or Nurmagomedov) guys". That's because UFC president Dana White isn't ever going to book this matchup again. But they called me and said Max Holloway.
The otherwise surging lightweight then detailed the timeline of events, claiming that he tripped over a large cable in a dark production room on the FOX Sports set as he went to say hello to a crew member. "Opportunities like this come once in a lifetime", Holloway told KHON's Rob DeMello.
To say it's been a whirlwind 24 hours-plus for Khabib Nurmagomedov would be an understatement.
And White confirmed that the victor of the bout would walk away as the undisputed UFC lightweight champion, with the title departing the waist of two-weight champ Conor McGregor in the process. I'm going to show you guys how I'm tough.' Of course I am tough, but I am smart, too.More news: Declan Donnelly prepares to host without Ant
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Holloway had to pull out of the UFC 222 main event against Frankie Edgar in March because of a leg injury. According to him, he was simply ready to fight for the title instead of being given "regular fights". "I think Holloway is not any less interesting than Ferguson".
The 26-year-old can also become the youngest fighter in history to earn titles in multiple divisions.
"I don't think Conor McGregor could make the weight on six days" notice.
The highly anticipated lightweight title fight between Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov was shelved after "El Cucuy" tore a ligament while fulfilling media obligations six days from their 155-lbs showdown. "Nobody [was] wrestling with him [in past fights]". I watch all his 12 win streak, no ones' like me. "But now he's in different territory, different weight class, different animal".