Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC
UFC 223 takes place this April in Brooklyn, New York and is set to be headlined by a unified Lightweight clash between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov resulting in current champion, Conor McGregor to be stripped of his title.
First reported by BJPenn.com late on Tuesday evening, the UFC plan to announce the upcoming title tilt between interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson (23-3) and Khabib Nurmagomedov (25-0) on this Saturday’s broadcast at UFC 220.
Sources close to both camps broke the news to BJPenn.com journalist Chris Taylor of the news late on Tuesday night which sent social media into a frenzy.
This fight was originally planned to take place last year but health issues forced Khabib out of the bout.
The fight announcement was confirmed by UFC President today on the Toucher and Rich radio show earlier today.
This all means that current lightweight champion Conor McGregor (21-3) is set to be stripped of his title.
Having won the belt in November 2016 against then champ Eddie Alvarez, McGregor has since went on to fight Floyd Mayweather in a one off boxing showcase to much criticism from fans who believe that he should have stayed within the UFC’s promotion to defend the belt as all champions inevitably do.
McGregor had initially penciled in a return to UFC action this September but speaking after the recent Fight Night event in St. Louis, Dana White spoke to Karen Bryant on FOX Sports 1 regarding the belt and the division.
Conor is a great guy and I have a great working relationship with the guy. Look at all he’s done for this promotion. You have to respect the guy but the division needs to move along and September is too far away for a comeback. But look, if he wants to come back, he’ll be the first guy to get a shot at the title for sure
Conor McGregor’s Instagram posts suggest that the fighter is back in training and this latest news may just prompt the Irishman back a bit sooner than anticipated.
UFC 223 takes place on April 7th and the card to date, looks like this:
- Tony Ferguson (champ) vs Khabib Nurmagomedov – For lightweight belt
- Paul Felder vs Al Iaquinta – Lightweight bout