This morning, we were hit with the unfortunate news that UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway had been deemed “unfit to compete” and forced out of his last-minute lightweight title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov, which was to serve as the main event of UFC 223 tomorrow night in Brooklyn, New York.
Shortly after this news surfaced, Max Holloway released a heartfelt statement, apologizing to Khabib Nurmagomedov, and also referencing UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, who was briefly linked to a last-second showdown with Nurmagomedov.
. @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 Nurmagomedov] my brother, I want to keep going but they are stopping me,” Holloway said in a Friday morning Tweet, assuring that he would have continued to cut weight were it not for the intervention of the New York State Athletic Commission. “Sorry to your team and the fans. You don’t deserve this. This is number one. Shout outs to you and [Anthony Pettis]. Give the fans what they deserve.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov was originally expected to battle Tony Ferguson in the UFC 223 main event. Regrettably, Ferguson was forced out of the fight with a freak injury, at which point a ballsy Max Holloway stepped in on a mere 6 days notice.
From the get go, it was known that the UFC featherweight champion would have to endure a significant weight cut to make the lightweight division’s 155-pound limit. In the end, this cut appears to have foiled the UFC’s commendable attempt at salvaging the UFC 223 main event. Stay tuned for further updates as they emerge.
What was your reaction when you say Max Holloway had been forced out of his UFC 223 scrap with Khabib Nurmagomedov? Join the conversation in the comments section.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/6/2018.