Just in case you hide from the internet on April 1st to avoid all the ridiculous lies and stories that propogate endlessly, let us fill you in on the very real bad news: Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov is off UFC 223 after Ferguson injured his knee in a freak accident.
“As I was completing my UFC pre-fight media obligations on Friday I had an accident on a studio set that tore a ligament in my knee,” Ferguson revealed on Sunday night. “My doctor and the UFC doctor both said I can’t fight and one is saying I need surgery, so I will see a specialist to make the final determination on how I can heal up and get back in there to defend my belt ASAP.”
“He tore his LCL and apparently that’s an injury that you don’t need surgury on,” UFC president Dana White told ESPN. “But he actually tore it off the bone, he’s going to need surgury on his knee.”
Unfortunately for Ferguson, he won’t be defending his title ASAP at all because the interim lightweight belt he won at UFC 216 will go poof the moment Khabib Nurmagomedov steps into the cage against last minute replacement and UFC featherweight champ Max Holloway on April 7th.
“That goes away,” White said when asked about Ferguson’s title. “This fight is for the title. This fight is for the title and the winner of this fight will be the [undisputed lightweight] champion.”
As for Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov, which has now been cancelled four times over the past three years? White says he’s done trying putting it together.
“Hell no,” he said. “I’m never making that fight ever again. Ever.”
White has good reason to be sick of the match up. Nurmagomedov dropped out of the third attempt to make it happen at UFC 209 on the day before the event due to a botched weight cut. This time it’s Ferguson bowing out a week before UFC 223. Previous cancellations due to a lung infection on Tony’s side and knee injury to Khabib were further out, but it’s no wonder the UFC now considers this fight cursed.
Which is really too bad. Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov are two of the best lightweights in the UFC and their fight in Brooklyn was a must see attraction. Now we’ll probably never get to witness it, and that’s a shame … but you can’t say the UFC didn’t try.