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Eddie Alvarez: I’ll be ready to step in if either Ferguson or Khabib pulls out of UFC 223

Eddie Alvarez is not counting on the Tony Ferguson-Khabib Nurmagomedov fight to push through, but is keeping himself ready as a possible replacement.

UFC 25th Anniversary Press Conference Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The highly-anticipated fight between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov has been scheduled four times now. Currently, the two are slated to headline UFC 223, with the lightweight title on the line.

Because of the previous cancellations, many are left doubtful if the fight would finally push through. One of those skeptics is former 155-pound champion Eddie Alvarez, who even has a theory about the upcoming New York event.

“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 leaning towards the idea of either Khabib or Ferguson pulling out, and he is already presenting himself as a possible replacement, if it does happen.

“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 is scheduled to take place on April 7th in Brooklyn. It will be co-headlined by the rematch between strawweights Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk.

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