(Reuters) - UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway will replace injured interim title-holder Tony Ferguson and take on Khabib Nurmagomedov for the lightweight title at UFC 223 in New York on Saturday, the promotion has announced.
With Conor McGregor failing to defend the belt since he won the crown in November 2016, UFC president Dana White had announced that American Ferguson and Russian Nurmagomedov would face each other for the undisputed title.
This would effectively strip the 29-year-old Irishman of the belt but on Sunday, the UFC said that Ferguson had suffered a knee injury and Hawaiian Holloway would step in as a replacement and battle the undefeated Nurmagomedov instead.
The UFC 223 event takes place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn and also features a women’s straw-weight title rematch between champion Rose Namajunas and Poland’s Joanna Jedrzejczyk, whom the American defeated to take the belt last November.
Reporting by Philip O'Connor