UFC 223 Loses Main Event but Gains Drama and Intrigue

Khabib Nurmagomedov prepares to face Edson Barboza

UFC president Dana White has revealed he did not offer Conor McGregor a UFC 223 lightweight championship fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov after his scheduled opponent Tony Ferguson withdrew from the bout with injury.

If he wins, he would be the youngest fighter to hold two titles and just the second UFC fighter to hold two belts at the same time.

Now, with the news that the UFC's fourth attempt ended in another injury withdrawal, fans are beginning to wonder if the Ferguson-Nurmagomedov match-up is cursed.

Featherweight champion Max Holloway will fight Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title in Brooklyn on Saturday.

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What makes life even more intriguing is the victor of the main event at UFC 223 will either be a man who has repeatedly called the Notorious one out or a man who will hold both the belts the Irishman never lost. "Four years, the UFC tried to make this fight and we didn't fight".

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The report cited "three people with knowledge of the talks". "Period", he stated. "As far as I know, no discussions". Kelner and a spokesman for Manafort also were not immediately available.

'He's a stud. The guy hasn't lost a fight since 2013, and that was a decision to Conor McGregor, ' White added. We're in the "Blessed Era" as Holloway likes to say, and it's time to embrace it.

White added: "As soon as these guys step in the ring and throw a punch, it's on for the title". If Holloway wins, he'll follow Conor McGregor as the only fighter to hold two titles simultaneously. "I think most guys at 155, especially in the top five, can't make that 155-pound limit on six days' notice".

According to MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani, the UFC may finally be making its return to Calgary.

"I mean seriously, there is a precedent for having a fight for a "real" title and keeping an "interim" title intact", Ferguson added.

White spoke to ESPN Sunday night and said McGregor wasn't considered to fill in for Ferguson. "The victor of this fight will be the champion".

Holloway's camp will likely study that fight, in addition to Khabib's destruction of Edson Barboza back in December, and try to keep the fight standing.