Iaquinta was originally lined up against Paul Felder at UFC 223 card, but was moved on the top of the bill. The interesting stipulation here is that even if White and the UFC crown Iaquinta the champion if victorious, he may not be recognized by the New York State Athletic Commission as the champion with the win. Iaquinta will not be crowned the champ with a victory.
Nevertheless, according to Ariel Helwanivia Twitter UFC President Dana White announced that "Al Iaquinta, if he wins, will be considered UFC champion". He weighed in at 155.2 pounds, which would disqualify him from competing for the 155-pound belt, though he could end up facing Nurmagomedov without the title on the line.
Mike Bohn of MMAJunkiereports that the UFC lightweight championship will still be up for grabs for Nurmagomedov, but not for his impromptu opponent.
UFC 223 takes place on Saturday, April 7, 2018, in Brooklyn, NY and will air live beginning at 3:15 ET.
Nurmagomedov said he's taken things in stride as his opponent has changed. "Inside the cage or outside the cage, it doesn't matter, we have to fix this".
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. Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg were hurt in the mayhem and forced off the card.
Iaquinta is riding a five fight win streak going into the main event, although he has been at odds with the UFC quite a bit over the past couple of years regarding fighter pay and sanctions levied against him by the promotion.
It appears that a fight between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson are not supposed to fight each other despite the interest of fight fans across the world wanting to see that fight happen. "It does not matter to me which one I get next". Throughout the day the UFC scrambled looking for a main event. Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk will fight in a rematch for the strawweight title.
However, with the promotion quickly tiring of his antics, the Irishman may find that while he might well be able to win back a belt in the future, winning back fans may prove a lot more hard.
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