Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov’s highly anticipated bout will headline at UFC 223, which is set to take place on Saturday, April 7, at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The bout is one that is a long time in the making. Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov have been scheduled to fight in each of the past four years, but have yet to even fight once.
There is an uncertainty of title confusion surrounding the upcoming lightweight bout between interim champion Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
UFC brass Dana White said that Ferguson and Nurmagomedov would fight for the ‘undisputed’ title but didn’t reveal whether Conor McGregor, the UFC lightweight champ, would be stripped of the belt.
With all of the above, many are doubtful if the fight would push through, among is former lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez who is perplexed by the situation.
“What’s going on is: This fight is 0-for-3. They’re not going to strip Conor of a belt, then have a vacant title for a fight that’s 0-for-3,” Alvarez said on a recent appearance on The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting). “They have not been able to make this fight. Every time they book it, they’re not able to make the fight. Either Khabib gets hurt or Tony gets hurt or someone gets hurt.”
“So I think what the UFC’s thinking is — this is a theory, it’s just an opinion on my part — this fight is not going to happen.”
“It’s a very unlikely chance that it’s going to happen, so they’re not going to strip the champion and then have this fight fall through and not have a champion,” he continued. “So, I think the day of weigh-ins, they’re going to strip [McGregor]. It’s going to make real big news, and they’re going to have a title fight and it’s also going to make big news. So it’s going to make for a lot of publicity in one day, and that’s my theory.”
Alvarez is already representing himself as a replacement in case Khabib or Ferguson pulls out of the UFC 223.
“I’m probably still going to end up fighting one of those guys. That fight probably is going to get scrapped,” Alvarez said. “They’re 0-for-3 there, so somebody might get scrapped, so I’ll be ready for that.”
UFC 223, also features a rematch between strawweight Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk which will co-headline the event.