After what could be considered the most chaotic week in UFC history - perhaps even mixed martial arts history - Khabib Nurmagomedov's hopes of becoming the next UFC Lightweight Champion are still alive.
Ironically, Iaquinta was the only fighter at media day Thursday to not have a sign with his name on it provided by the UFC.
McGregor appeared in court in NY on Friday charged with assault and criminal mischief. But because Iaquinta weighed in 0.2 pounds over the 155 limit, he will not be able to claim the title, according to the New York State Athletic Commission.
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Believe it or not, Nurmagomedov has been involved with nine different fights that have been cancelled for one reason or another during his UFC career beginning with a January 2014 bout versus Gilbert Melendez that the UFC cancelled for undisclosed reasons. Typically, Iaquinta would have an additional two hours to cut the rest of the weight, but by the time he found out he was in the running to take on Nurmagomedov, that time had passed.
Instead, he took up professional boxing and fought Floyd Mayweather for a huge payday, with American Tony Ferguson stepping in and winning the interim lightweight belt by submitting Kevin Lee. He is being arraigned right now and dealing with what he has to deal with.
MMA fighter Conor McGregor walks out of the 78th police precinct after charges were laid against him following a late night melee in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, New York, U.S., April 6, 2018. "It's never happened in almost 20 years of doing this so we'll see". That's right. Al Iaquinta is now fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223.
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With his ability to smother opponents with his powerful wrestling, Nurmagomedov is now the promotion's rising star, but Iaquinta is an excellent grappler and will provide a tough test.
Still, after having saved the UFC 223 card, he is certainly on UFC President Dana White's good side, and will not doubt make a strong argument to be next in line for a shot at the Lightweight Championship if he wins.
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