Skip to main content

Max Holloway out of UFC 223 main event, UFC yet to announce replacement


This story was updated at 2 PM EST.

According to ESPN's Brett Okamoto, UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway will not compete on Saturday's UFC 223 show as he was declared medically unfit to fight, likely due to having to cut a massive amount of weight in just six days notice.

Reports are that Holloway wanted to keep trying to make weight, but was told by the New York State Athletic Commission that he could not.

The LA Times' Lance Pugmire tweeted that Dana White told him the new main event will be Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Anthony Pettis for the what would be the vacant lightweight championship. MMA Junkie reported that is the working plan, but it hasn't been officially announced yet.

Pettis attempted to make weight, but hit 155.2 pounds. .2 over what it would take to make the fight. He had two hours to lose that .2 of a pound, but NY State officials later pulled the scale and UFC officials said he wasn't going to weigh back in. 

Paul Felder and Al Iaquinta threw their hats in the ring as well, but the commission shut down Felder due to, of all things, the rankings because he is unranked. Helwani said Iaquinta is the front runner but he weighed in .2 over as well, so that causes an issue for a title shot.

Pettis was set to face Michael Chiesa on the main card, but Chiesa was forced by the athletic commission to withdraw due to cuts on his face suffered when Conor McGregor threw a metal dolly through a van window Thursday.

We'll have more on this confusing situation as it develops.