Earlier on Friday morning, UFC 223 card got into another turmoil, when it was announced that featherweight champion, Max Holloway was pulled out and deemed medically unfit to fight. UFC attempted to book Anthony Pettis and Paul Fleder, but both ideas failed to fruition. After all the chaos, undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov finally got his title fight against Al Iaquinta in the main event of UFC 223 on Saturday night in Brooklyn, New York.
At Friday’s weigh-ins, Nurmagomedov came in at 154.5 pounds but Iaquinta came in at 155.2 was .02 over championship weight limit. But because he tipped the scales with underwear on, which apparently weighed .2 pounds, So the catch was here, that Nurmagomedov will be eligible to win the belt, but Iaquinta will not. Iaquinta was originally slated to face off with Paul Felder in an undercard fight.
But UFC president Dana White refuted the notion at Friday evening’s press conference and said UFC will consider Iaquinta the lightweight champion if he wins: (Quotes Via BloodyElbow)
“If you look at where Al was ranked, and his last five fights, he made the most sense,” White said of why Iaquinta is ultimately the one facing Nurmagomedov. “The problem with Al was he was 155.2 (pounds). That was with his underwear on. The commission literally weighed his underwear, and they were .2 (pounds), so he made weight.
“The title is on the line. As far as the commission goes, Khabib is the one who is eligible for the title. But obviously if ‘Ragin’ Al wins this fight, he’s the champ. If you beat the man, you are the man.”
On being asked, if La Iaquinta could still win the lightweight title, White responded despite the NYSAC ruling, if Iaquinta beat Khabib Nurmagomedove will have to be a wait-and-see situation.
“We as the fans and as the people know who the champ is if you win the fight. If you win the fight, you’re the champ,” White said. “To be the man, you beat the man, and if you beat the man, it’s hard to deny that he’s not the champion. All technicalities we will figure out after the fight.
“Per the New York State Athletic Commission, this is not a title fight for him. It’s an actual regulation that a guy who doesn’t make exactly on weight cannot be the champion. So we’ll see. Obviously, if he wins this fight, we’ll figure that out.”
WOW what a week. Thank you Ragin Al for demanding this fight and thank u Khabib for being willing to fight ANYONE all week!!! pic.twitter.com/oDqC30FdES
— danawhite (@danawhite) April 6, 2018
Do you think Al Iaquinta can pull an upset at tomorrow’s UFC 223 card?
UFC 223 is set to go down Saturday night April 7, at Barclay’s Center Brooklyn New York.