The main event features No. 2 ranked lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov battling No. 11 ranked Al Iaquinta for the undisputed lightweight championship.
In the co-main event, in a rematch for the women’s strawweight championship, Rose Namajunas defends against former titleholder Joanna Jedrzejczyk.
Nurmagomedov (25-0) had been scheduled to face Tony Ferguson in the headliner, but unfortunately, for the fourth time, it got postponed due to Ferguson suffering torn LCL over the weekend. Looking for a suitable replacement, the UFC called the 145-pound champion Holloway.
On Friday morning, Holloway got pulled by the New York State Athletic Commission as they were concerned about his weight cut and declared that he was medically unfit to compete. Sporting News has learned that Holloway weighed 159 pounds and was on track to make 155.
Then the UFC tried to make Nurmagomedov against former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, who had been scheduled to face Michael Chiesa. But, Chiesa got injured in the incident involving Conor McGregor. Pettis came in at 155.2 as well and no reason was given on why Pettis didn’t re-weigh.
The UFC attempted to make Nurmagomediv against Paul Felder, who had been scheduled to face Iaquinta. Felder didn’t get it because reportedly by the NYSAC because he is not ranked in the UFC lightweight division.
Iaquinta (13-3) comes in on a tear, winning eight of his last fights and has won five in a row. It’s been a shaky time for “Ragin” because he’s been at odds with the company over his contract and has fought only two times in the last three years due to that and injuries.
Namajunas (7-3) and Jedrzejczyk (14-1) fought at UFC 217 back in November. Jedrzejczyk was the prohibitive favorite but Namajunas shocked the world and snapped the long-reigning champion’s undefeated streak with a first-round TKO.
UFC 223 should be an exciting night of fights. Will we see history?
Follow us all day long with our coverage of UFC 223 as we inch closer to the opening bout taking place at 8 p.m. ET and throughout fight night leading to Nurmagomedov and Iaquinta.
(All times are Eastern.)
3:50: We are inching closer to fight time. Let’s take a look back at how Khabib Nurmagomedov got to this point when he pummeled Michael Johnson at UFC 205, winning by third-round submission.
11:00: Hello, fight fans, I’m Steven Muehlhausen of Sporting News. In a few hours, UFC 223 will commence from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn featuring Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Al Iaquinta for the undisputed lightweight championship and the co-main for the women’s strawweight title as Rose Namajunas defends against Joanna Jedrzejczyk. Stay locked into SN all day long for news on UFC 223 as we approach bell time of 8:00 p.m.
UFC 223 fight card
Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Al Iaquinta for the UFC Lightweight title
Rose Namajunas (c) vs. Joanna Jędrzejczyk for Namajunas’ UFC Women’s Strawweight title
Renato Moicano vs. Calvin Kattar; Featherweight
Zabit Magomedsharipov vs. Kyle Bochniak; Featherweight
Joe Lauzon vs. Chris Gruetzemacher; Lightweight
Karolina Kowalkiewicz vs. Felice Herrig; Women’s Strawweight
Evan Dunham vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier; Lightweight
Bec Rawlings vs. Ashlee Evans-Smith; Women’s Flyweight
Devin Clark vs. Mike Rodriguez; Light Heavyweight
UFC 223 latest news
– Al Iaquinta tells SN he knows his value heading into the biggest fight of his life.
– Max Holloway out, Al Iaquinta in against Khabib Nurmagoemdov in UFC 223 main event.
– Our MMA experts discuss whether Iaquinta can shock the world?
– What’s at stake going into UFC 223?
– Don’t know too much about UFC 223? We give you all the information here.
– Rose Namajunas tells SN why she’s focused on being true to herself.
– Joanna Jedrzejczyk explains to SN on why she will get her title back.
Steven Muehlhausen is an MMA and boxing writer and contributor for Sporting News. Subscribe to his You Tube channel here . You can email him at and can find him on Twitter