Brett Okamoto, ESPN Staff Writer 6y

Al Iaquinta replaces medically unfit Max Holloway, will fight Khabib Nurmagomedov


NEW YORK -- Featherweight champion Max Holloway has been declared medically unfit to fight and has been pulled from the UFC 223 card at Barclays Center on Saturday night.

Holloway was scheduled to face Khabib Nurmagomedov for the UFC's lightweight championship.

In Holloway's place will be Al Iaquinta, who was named the replacement Friday afternoon -- just over 24 hours before the fight. Nurmagomedov-Iaquinta will be a five-round championship fight. Nurmagomedov is eligible to win the undisputed title; Iaquinta is not because he did not weigh in at 155 pounds (he came in at 155.2) on Friday morning.

Holloway (19-3) had accepted the bout on six days' notice and couldn't safely make the 155-pound limit.

Nurmagomedov was originally supposed to face Tony Ferguson, who was forced off the card last weekend because of a knee injury. Nurmagomedov (25-0) successfully made championship weight on Friday. 

The pay-per-view event, which was widely considered to be one of the best lineups of the year, has taken multiple hits in recent days.

Lightweight Michael Chiesa and flyweight Ray Borg were forced to withdraw from their respective bouts because of injuries sustained during an attack on their bus by UFC star Conor McGregor. McGregor was released from police custody on $50,000 bond Friday after a brief arraignment. 

Featherweight Artem Lobov, who is a teammate and close friend of McGregor, was also pulled from the card because of his involvement in the McGregor incident.

The UFC 223 event still has a strawweight title fight between Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Both fighters successfully made weight on Friday.

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