Tony Ferguson is understandably devastated after a knee injury forced his withdrawal from the UFC 223 headliner against Khabib Nurmagomedov less than one week before their fight.
“Words can’t explain how hurt, frustrated, angry and in disbelief I am right now,” Ferguson wrote on Instagram. “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 a final determination on how I can heal up and get back in there to defend my belt ASAP.”
I'm told the injury to Tony Ferguson was literally caused by a trip. The freak accident of all freak accidents. He was walking, saw someone he wasn't expecting to see, veered sharply to say hello and tripped.— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) April 1, 2018
As a result, Max Holloway will face Khabib Nurmagomedov for the 155-pound championship in the new UFC 223 headliner on Saturday at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
When Ferguson does return, he isn’t likely to have a belt to defend. UFC President Dana White told ESPN.com on Sunday that the interim title “El Cucuy” captured last year with a win over Kevin Lee at UFC 216 is no more.
“That goes away,” White said. “This fight is for the title. The winner of this fight will be the champion.”