The UFC 223 battle card was a moving target, to put it well.
What was formerly a highly expected card featuring Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson fighting for the lightweight title has been dismantled by injuries, bad weight cuts and an inexplicable attack from Conor McGregor, who’ll eliminate a title on the card without even stepping in the Octagon.
Shaheen Al-Shatti of MMA Fighting recapped all the volatility surrounding fight week:
So Tony-Khabib, but Tony’s hurt Khabib-Max, but Max can’t cut some more weight so Khabib-Pettis, but nah so Khabib-Felder, but Felder ain’t rated and seemingly that matters, therefore Khabib-Iaquinta, however Iaquinta can not win the belt since he wore shorts into weigh-ins.
11:08 PM – Apr 6, 2018
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Those were just the adjustments to the major event. McGregor’s antics cost the card fights, as Artem Lobov-Alex Caceres, Michael Chiesa-Anthony Pettis and Ray Borg-Brandon Moreno were scratched as a result.
What is left is an intriguing card with just nine conflicts, but it’s still worth checking out.
If anything, the co-main occasion between Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Rose Namajunas for the women’s strawweight title is the highlight. The rematch is a powerful contender for Fight of the evening.
Here’s a look at the complete card:
Main Card (Pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET)
Khabib Nurmagomedov (-500) vs. Al Iaquinta (+350)
Rose Namajunas (-110) vs. Joanna Jedrzejczyk (-120)
Renato Moicano (-105) vs. Calvin Kattar (-125)
Zabit Magomedsharipov (-700) vs. Kyle Bochniak (+450)
Joe Lauzon (-175) vs. Chris Gruetzemacher (+145)
Preliminary Card (FOX Sports 1 in 8 pm ET)
Karolina Kowalkiewicz (-210) vs. Felice Herrig (+170)
Bec Rawlings (+160) vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith (-200)
Olivier Aubin-Mercier (-110) vs. Evan Dunham (-120)
Devin Clark (-115) vs. Mike Rodriguez (-115)
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