But have you been able to keep up with UFC 223? Khabib vs who? I really haven’t been able to keep up with this, because it has honestly been one of the craziest roller coaster ride leading into this card then any i can ever think of in UFC history.
I mean we do see fight changes sometimes, sometimes a month out, or a few weeks out, but rarely as late as Al Iaquinta is stepping in to face Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 on basically 24 hours notice – I remember when Charlie Brenneman fought Rick Story on 24 hour’s notice after Nate Marquardt had to be pulled from the card, and interestingly he ended up winning.
There’s something to be said for a last minute fight for a true fighter and what it can bring out in them, so who knows, but lets have a look at what has happened leading up to this card –
Tony injures himself on a media day?
So many times we have waited to see Khabib vs Tony, but again for this UFC 223 card we have been disappointed again for the fourth time.
The news dropped on April fools day, and given the nature of how Tony apparently injured himself 6 days before the fight –
It really did feel like a joke when it was reported that Tony Ferguson actually tripped over a wire n a media day of interviews and tore a ligament of his knee.
Tony it seems still wanted to fight but the UFC doctors would nt clear him, so this was the first twist on this UFC 223 card and Dana White went onto to say that he will never book this fight ever again, but personally I hope he doesn’t actually mean that.
Max Holloway steps in?
Now at the time when Tony had to be pulled of he card, all MMA fans united in our sorrow that again we would be deprived of watching the best two active lightweights in the UFC get it on.
But on the same interview with Brett Okamoto Dana also confirmed that Max Holloway would be stepping in on 6 days notice to face Khabib, which given the situation was as good a last minute replacement hat the UFC could get given Holloway’s history with McGregor.
A lot of MMA fans actually felt that Max Holloway stepping in was actually an improvement on the original match especially with Max having the chance to become a two weight champion at the same time in the same division that Conor did it in.
Conors team goes crazy!
First off you should watch this clip of when Khabib and his team seemed to be picking on Artem to a certain degree, because this seems to be what sparked off a really negative reaction from Conor and his team –
As a result f this melee we saw the ensuing reaction where members of the MACLife media team let Conor, Atem and around 12 of their team int the Barclays arena in Brooklyn – who then proceeded to circle a coach which was holding Khabib and some other fighters.
Conors team started to scream and shout, throwing bins, railings and chairs at the coach which caused multiple window breaks one of which resulted in UFC Michael Chiesa getting a cut bad enough to pull him from the card.
Also Ray Borg had to be pulled from the card as some glass fragments went in his eye apparently, also Rose Namajunas and a few other fighters were apparently shaken up by the event, but thankfully all the fighters have decided to go ahead with the fights. Anyway if you haven’t seen it then here is the footage of the whole crazy attack –
I have said what I said about Conor and his team doing this, because there is many angles one must consider before judging Conor – first off Conor is a fierce family man and Artem is like a brother to Conor, so if you try intimidating Arem with all your team, you can expect Conor to get angry about that.
Then trying to intimidate Khabib makes sense psychologically speaking to try and throw him off his game before his fight tonight, also the whole event will only help sell more tickets, so from that perspective its genius from Conor.
But the guy has over stepped the line this time by injuring and shaking up fighters who have nothing to do with his beef with Khabib – so I agree with Danas decision to strip Conor of his Lightweight belt and he may even be forced to have a substantial pay cut for his next fight – Conor may also be facing criminal charges and potential lawsuits as a result of this situation.
Holloway out Iaquinta in?
Then just this Friday, we found out that Max Hlloway is having difficulty making the wight for the fight on such short notice and so had to be pulled from the card.
In ur hour of need we all looked to the skies and thought, there’s no way to save this card now – but then Superman steps up in Al Iaquinta t literally save this card from MMA fans scrutiny and certain pay-per-view flunking.
From my perspective Al Iaquinta literally needs to be given the nickname Superman after this amazing show of bravery and natural fighting instinct by accepting this incredibly short notice fight against arguably the best lightweight fighter in the world – especially if Al somehow finds a way to shock the world and beat Khabib, unlikely we can all admit, but I’m sure we will all be calling him superman either way – what a stud!
The pay per view numbers will still take a hit, but the fact that Khabib is sill fighting and against a sound opponent like Iaquinta is truly a miracle in the fight game, which i for one and hugely thankful for.
Enjoy whats left of the fights!
So its been a roller coaster finally getting to this UFC 223 card, I’m amazed if Dana White and some of the top heads at the UFC haven’t all had heart attacks after this event is all said an done!
But all we can do now as fans is just sit back and enjoy the night of fights, which really should still be an amazing night of fights regardless of the hits the card has taken.
I hope you enjoyed this post, so as always drop some comments below and I will always get back to you – of course don’t forget to stay tuned for more from the world of MMA right here at the MMAGateway.
See you on the otherside – enjoy the fights!