As irony would have it, a popular April Fool’s Day joke for mixed martial arts fans actually came true on Sunday, April 1. But not in the way anyone expected.
UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson was forced to withdraw from his fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 on Saturday, April 7. The news was first reported by Ariel Helwani of MMA Fighting and later confirmed by Helwani and ESPN’s Brett Okamoto. Ferguson suffered an injury that transpired in such a fashion that it might only be described as a type of April Fool’s joke:
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
However, Nurmagomedov is still expected to compete at UFC 223 against UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway, who agreed to step in on short notice. Nurmagoedov and Holloway will compete for the undisputed UFC lightweight title, as the promotion is still expected to strip reigning champion Conor McGregor.
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