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Tony Ferguson explains ‘accident’ that led to his UFC 223 withdrawal

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson isn’t going down to an absolute freak injury.

Ferguson wrote in an Instagram post Sunday, just hours after news broke that he was out of UFC 223, that he tore a ligament in his knee while on a studio set fulfilling media obligations for the fight. Sources told MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani that the accident happened when Ferguson was on the Fox lot in Los Angeles on Friday.

“Words Can’t Express How Hurt, Frustrated, Angry And In Disbelief I Am Right Now,” Ferguson wrote, using his trademark style of capitalizing the first letter of every word.

#UFC223 #TonyFergusonMMA SnapJitsu™️ #SnapDownCity

A post shared by @TonyFergusonxt (@tonyfergusonxt) on

Ferguson, who became the interim lightweight champion when he beat Kevin Lee at UFC 216, wrote that one doctor has recommended he have surgery to repair the injury, but he’s waiting to see a specialist before deciding on that. In the post, he apologized to the UFC, Nurmagomedov, his coaches, teammates, friends and family.

“I Believe There Is A Silver Lining In This Nightmare Of A Reality,” Ferguson wrote. “Because This Isn’t An April Fools.”

UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway will step in on short notice to face the undefeated Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 on Saturday in Brooklyn. The fight will still be for the UFC lightweight title, UFC president Dana White told ESPN on Sunday.

Nurmagomedov and Ferguson were supposed to fight three previous times and all of this also fell through for various reasons.

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