(Click on the fight below and then scroll down to see in-fight live analytics and the latest results, courtesy of Fight Analytics. The first UFC 223: Khabib vs. Iaquinta bout from Brooklyn, New York, is scheduled to begin on Saturday, April 7, at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.)
UFC 223: Khabib vs. Iaquinta underwent major changes in the days leading up to the event, and even on the day of weigh-ins.
The UFC 223 main event has traveled an odd road. While Tony Ferguson won the interim UFC lightweight title by defeating Kevin Lee at UFC 216 last year. That should have lined him up for a unification bout with lightweight champion Conor McGregor, but the Irishman is still hanging out on the sidelines, and now finds himself in legal trouble.
Instead of fighting McGregor, Ferguson was slated to step into the Octagon with undefeated top contender Khabib Nurmagomedov. Although McGregor still held the title, he loses it when the UFC 223 main event gets underway. Only, it won’t be Ferguson that steps into the cage with Nurmagomedov for the undisputed UFC lightweight championship.
Ferguson had to withdraw from the fight a week ahead of the event because of a severe knee injury.
The UFC 223 main event was then set to feature featherweight champion Max Holloway, who agreed to step up on short notice to battle Nurmagomedov for the lightweight belt.
Holloway, however, was deemed unfit to continue his weight cut by the New York State Athletic Commission during Friday’s weigh-in. He was ruled out of the bout and eventually replaced by Al Iaquinta.
Iaquinta is ineligible to win the title, however, as he weighed 155.2 pounds and, a victim of circumstance, was never afforded the opportunity to hit the 155.0-pound championship mark. Nurmagomedov can still win the belt if he wins the fight.
Of course, following events on Thursday, when Conor McGregor and his crew crashed the Barclays Center, which led to at least two fighters being injured, three bouts being canceled, and McGregor being taken into police custody, the UFC 223 fight card had already changed dramatically.
Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg were injured and their bouts canceled, while Artem Lobov participated in the fracas alongside McGregor, leading White to cancel his bout.
The UFC 223 co-main event, which pits an immediate rematch between UFC strawweight champion Rose Namajunas and the woman she took the belt from, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, remained intact though.
The Polish fighter had been expected to defeat Namajunas at UFC 217 and tie Ronda Rousey‘s record for most UFC title defenses by a woman. The American had other ideas and finished Jedrzejczyk three minutes and three seconds into their bout. She’ll now have to prove Jedrzejczyk wrong, who insists their first fight was a fluke.
Check out the MMAWeekly.com Rumors page for more scheduled events and rumored fight cards.
The UFC 223 Live Stats widget will be updated by fight time. For the current line-up, please check out the MMAWeekly.com UFC 223 Event Page.