On April 7, in the main event of UFC 223, interim UFC lightweight champion Tony Ferguson and undefeated contender Khabib Nurmagomedov will battle for the lightweight title. This fight stands out as one of the biggest and most important in the illustrious history of the UFC lightweight division. Regrettably, it’s also one of the most ill-starred fights in MMA history.
Yes, having been booked to no avail on multiple occasions over the last few years, this matchup looks very much like its cursed. And while we’re all hoping it finally comes to fruition this April, the realists in the MMA community are bracing themselves for the possibility of heartbreak yet again.
Should disaster strike, however, rising UFC lightweight contender James Vick is hoping he can step in and save the day. Despite dislocating a finger in his Saturday night decision win over Francisco Trinaldo, Vick says he’s ready and willing to step in to replace either Ferguson or Nurmagomedov if either man is forced out of the fight.
“I dislocated my finger at the end of the second round,” Vick told the media post-fight (h/t Sherdog.com). “He kicked and I blocked it, but my finger went back. I knew he saw it so I popped it back really quickly and kept fighting.”
“My finger is dislocated but it’s not broken. I’m ready to fight for the title if anything happens with Khabib and Tony,” Vick said. “I beat guys that they have faced and beat them even easier.”
Whatever the case, James Vick is ready for people to start respecting his impressive accomplishments inside the Octagon.
“I’m 6-foot-3 and I’m a finisher, so no one wants to fight me,” Vick said. “I’m better than anyone in every position whether its grappling or striking. My record is undeniable. You probably can’t name many more people in the UFC that have a better record than I have.”
Who do you think is next for James Vick?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/19/2018.