Nurmagomedov v Holloway canceled after US fighter declared unfit to fight
The shocking news for MMA fans emerged on Friday from Brooklyn, as multiple sources have confirmed that doctors have barred Holloway from taking part in the event.
BREAKING: Max Holloway has been declared medically unfit to fight. Holloway is out of UFC 223. Per Dana White.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) April 6, 2018
It is unclear if Nurmagomedov will remain on the card, as Anthony Pettis stepped in as a last-minute replacement, and currently has to make the 155 pound limit within two hours.
Pettis was scheduled to fight another lightweight, Michael Chiesa, who had to be removed from the card after receiving facial cuts caused by shattered glass when Conor McGregor attacked the bus carrying fighters from the UFC 223 card on Thursday.
Nurmagomedov was originally scheduled to face interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson, who also had to pull out from the bout due to a knee injury on April 1. UFC featherweight champion Holloway had stepped in as a short-notice replacement for Ferguson, but has now been forced to pull out.
Holloway has already publically apologized to Nurmagomedov, although he mentioned that it was as a result of the decision from the New York State Athletic Commission, rather than from his team.
. @TeamKhabib my brother I want to keep going but they are stopping me. Sorry to your team and the fans. You don’t deserve this. This is number one. Shout outs to you and @Showtimepettis . Give the fans what they deserve— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) April 6, 2018
"(Khabib), my brother, I want to keep going but they are stopping me," he tweeted.
"Sorry to your team and the fans. You don’t deserve this."