Iaquinta tapped to save UFC 223 main event

After scrambling to find a second replacement fighter to go against Khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event for Saturday’s UFC 223, the mixed martial arts organization has tapped Al Iaquinta.

However, since Iaquinta did not make the 155-pound championship weight for the fight, he will not be a contender for the lightweight title stripped from Conor McGregor.

Nurmagomedov, on the other hand, will win the title should he win the fight, which is scheduled for five rounds.

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Featherweight champion Max Holloway had accepted the fight on short notice after Tony Ferguson was forced off the card last weekend due to a knee injury, but was ruled medically unfit to fight Friday morning as he tried to make weight for the event.

The UFC then tried to make the fight work with either former champion Anthony Pettis or Paul Felder, but ran into weight and ranking issues with the New York State Athletic Commission.

UFC 223 had already lost three other fighters thanks to McGregor’s alleged attack on a bus leaving Thursday’s media day at the Barclays Center.

Lightweight Michael Chiesa and flyweight Ray Borg were forced to pull out of their respective fights after suffering injuries in the attack, while featherweight Artem Lobov, a teammate and friend of McGregor, was pulled from the card due to his alleged involvement in the incident.

McGregor was charged with three counts of assault and one count of criminal mischief in connection with Thursday’s incident and had his bail set at $50,000 during a Friday afternoon hearing.