International fight week has lived up to expectations once again, we had two great UFC events as two more fighters won The Ultimate Fighter, and the coaches went head to head to decide who would become the baddest man on the planet and obtain the UFC heavyweight title. In this article, I’m going to take you through some of the key highlights of the week and I plan on making this a weekly article to keep everyone updated on whats going on in the world of MMA.
The International Fight Week curse has claimed a fight for the fourth consecutive year.
Max Holloway has been forced to withdraw from his planned co-main event fight with Brian Ortega after displaying ‘concussion like symptoms’.
With Max Holloway set to defend the UFC featherweight title against Brian Ortega this weekend, it’s time to take an in depth look at how the two stars match up.
For my fight analysis, I’ll cover a multitude of variables for each fighter and how they’ll clash, while trying to avoid putting you to sleep while I do it.
You would be forgiven for thinking that UFC 223 is cursed.
This morning, during the official weigh ins, the executive director of the New York State Athletic Commission confirmed that Max Holloway had been deemed medically unfit to attend the scales.
There are numerous reports that the UFC have approached Anthony Pettis to step in as a replacement for Holloway. Pettis was originally set to meet Michael Chiesa in a fight which was cancelled following the antics of Conor McGregor in Brooklyn last night.
Prior to the official announcement being made the to media, the news was first reported by Brett Okamoto of ESPN.
Earlier in the morning, Khabib Nurmagomedov successfully weighed in at 154.5 lbs but is now once again without an opponent for his planned lightweight title fight.
More to come.
UFC president Dana White has again confirmed that he intends to strip Conor McGregor of his lightweight title.
Speaking during last night’s UFC 223 press conference, White made it clear that it will happen on Saturday night once the main event begins. He also confirmed that the only person being stripped will be McGregor. Interim champion Tony Ferguson will retain his title and the number one contender status which accompanies it.
This morning, the outspoken Irishman took to Twitter to respond to the news that he is about to lose the belt he is yet to defend.
During the press conference, White also opened the door for Max Holloway to keep both his UFC featherweight title and the lightweight belt should he successfully end Khabib Nurmagomedov’s 26 fight unbeaten run on Saturday night.
This news will not go down well with McGregor. The self proclaimed ‘Champ Champ’ found himself swiftly stripped of the featherweight belt after defeating Eddie Alvarez for the lightweight title at UFC 205.
White’s only stipulation for Holloway holding two titles simultaneously was the Hawaiian being willing and able to fight frequently enough to defend both belts.
White did confirm that McGregor will “100% be back” this year. Whatever the outcome on Saturday, we are still some way from finally resolving the chaos which has reigned at the top of the 155lb division.
It’s taken almost 24 hours but the inevitable has happened – Conor Mcgregor has finally weighed in with his thoughts on Tony Ferguson pulling out of his planned UFC 223 title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
It should come as little surprise to anyone familiar with the Irishman’s theatrics that he hasn’t been subtle in giving his opinion on the situation.
Dana White once again confirmed that the UFC 223 main event, now between featherweight champ Max Holloway and Khabib, will be for the “official” lightweight title. White has insisted numerous times that McGregor will be stripped of the undisputed lightweight championship as soon as the main event officially begins.
McGregor is expected to be present at the Barclaycard Arena in Brooklyn for the fight with long time friend and team mate Artem Lobov fighting on the preliminary card. Prior to the main event change there had been speculation of McGregor confronting the winner in the octagon, setting up a fight later this year.
Sunday April 1st 2018. April Fools Day. A day where almost every MMA fan will have seen at least one post from someone joking that the Ferguson vs Khabib fight had been cancelled for one reason or another. How we all laughed. Then, later that evening, the announcement came.
Tony Ferguson was injured.
He’s been pulled from the card.
This is not an April Fools joke.
Fans were shocked and frustrated in equal measure. This is the fourth time we’ve been promised this fight and the fourth time it’s been snatched from our grasp. It’s the fight equivillent of the Loch Ness Monster. Destined to always be talked about, but never to be seen.
It is some consolation that we still have an excellent main event taking place. Reigning featherweight king Max Holloway will be stepping up a division on just six days notice to take on the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov.
It was a moment Holloway predicted at the UFC 222/223 press conference in January. Dana White was asked if he would have Eddie Alvarez or someone else lined up incase one of Ferguson or Khabib didn’t make it to the octagon. Holloway immediately piped up claiming he would be more than happy to step in should either fighter be unable to fulfil their contract.
It seems Holloway is as good as his word, taking the fight at just six days notice.
Ferguson posted the following message on his instagram account confirming the news and apologising to all involved.
Despite the previous failed attempts to have the two lightweights meet, it seemed like this time, at last, we would finally get to see the fight we were promised.
Fans, media and fighters all around the world took to social media when they heard the news. Here are some of the highlights.
Tony heal up man. Just want to advise you, don’t talk too much anymore. Lot of thoughts in my head right now, but I don’t want to become like you. Hope, this lesson will teach you watch your mouth. ❗️ На счёт этой ситуации я просто хочу сказать Тони: больше не болтай, в голове конечно много мыслей, на тебя похожим не буду, надеюсь этот урок научит тебя следить за языком. #ready #ufc223 #Alhamdulillah #победатолькоотВсевышнего