What a wild ride for UFC 223 event, last week Tony Ferguson pulled out of main event title fight against Khabib due to of torn LCL. Then it turns out featherweight champion Max Holloway stepped in on six days notice, and he was deemed unfit to fight due to weight issues. UFC attempted to book Anthony Pettis to fight. But after Pettis missed championship weight, and later turned down the fight for money concerns, another opponent Paul Felder stepped in, only to be promptly denied by the NYSAC as he’s not in the UFC’s own top-15 lightweight rankings.
So who will fight Khabib Nurmagomedov on Saturday night?
Reports emerged that UFC now confirmed Al Iaquinta to fight against Nurmagomedov.
Iaquinta has been at odds with the UFC in the past. He even said he is excluded from receiving fight-night bonuses by the promotion.
Iaquinta is riding five-fight win streak and has won eight of his past nine, but also missed two years due to injuries and contract disputes.
This morning Iaquinta weighed 155.2 pounds for the fight against Felder, he will be ineligible to win the title since that number is two-tenths of a pound over the championship fight limit.
MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani also reported that deal is confirmed:
Nurmagomedov vs. Iaquinta is all but signed, sources confirm. Agreed. Would be 5 rounds. Would be main event.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 6, 2018
Both, Felder and Pettis, are without opponents, bringing a card originally scheduled for 13 fights down to nine.
UFC 223 is set to go down Saturday night April 7, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. The main card will air on pay-per-view (PPV) following prelims on FS1 and UFC Fight Pass.