The MMA world was shocked today when Tony Ferguson was forced out of UFC 223 with an LCL ligament injury following a freak accident. People were even more surprised when his replacement was announced as featherweight champion Max Holloway, who will fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed lightweight title at the event instead.
Each man offered a reaction to the news on social media in the hours after UFC president Dana White announced the changes. For his part, Ferguson was very apologetic and declared that he will be back:
“Words can’t express how hurt, frustrated, angry and in disbelief I am right now. As I was completing my UFC pre-fight media obligations on Friday I had an accident on a studio set that tore a ligament in my knee. My doctor and the UFC doctor both said I can’t fight and one is saying I need surgery, so I will see a specialist to make the final determination on how I can heal up and get back in there to defend my belt ASAP. I want to apologize to all the fans, the UFC, Khabib, my teammates, my coaches, my friends, and most importantly my family. Happy Easter to everyone out there, I believe that there is a silver lining in this nightmare of a reality, because this isn’t an April Fools. Good health and blessings to you all.”
The part about defending his belt is a little strange, considering UFC president Dana White already said he will lose his interim title once the fight between Holloway and Khabib starts.
Next up is Nurmagomedov, who talked down to Ferguson a bit and couldn’t resist throwing in a couple of shots:
Tony heal up man. Just want to advise you, don’t talk too much anymore. Lot of thoughts in my head right now, but I don’t want to become like you. Hope, this lesson will teach you watch your mouth. ❗️ На счёт этой ситуации я просто хочу сказать Тони: больше не болтай, в голове конечно много мыслей, на тебя похожим не буду, надеюсь этот урок научить тебя следить за языком. #ready #ufc223 #Alhamdulillah #победатолькоотВсевышнего
“Tony heal up man. Just want to advise you, don’t talk too much anymore. Lot of thoughts in my head right now, but I don’t want to become like you. Hope, this lesson will teach you watch your mouth.”
Finally, Holloway just posted an image of snakes fighting each other:
“Battle between King Cobra and Reticulated Python. Both dead when found #UFC223“
The lightweight title bout between Khabib and Holloway will headline UFC 223 next Saturday in Brooklyn.