Nurmagomedov was originally scheduled to face Ferguson for the “real belt” in the main event of UFC 223 in Brooklyn, however Ferguson injured his knee a week before the fight, forcing it to be cancelled for the fourth time.
“The Eagle” was then slated to face featherweight champion Max Holloway, but the New York State Athletic Commission ruled “Blessed” unfit to continue cutting weight. Anthony Pettis and Paul Felder were considered options for the undefeated Russian, but it was Iaquinta who eventually took the fight.
Iaquinta, who was originally matched up against Felder, was dominated by Nurmagomedov in the first two rounds. Even though he managed to stop Nurmagomedov’s takedowns in the third and fourth rounds, “Ragin’ Al” still lost a dominant decision.
Moments after Nurmagomedov was declared the undisputed lightweight champion, Ferguson reacted to the fight on his social media.
UFC president Dana White said earlier this week that Ferguson would not be stripped of his interim belt, but Conor McGregor would lose his belt as soon as the UFC 223 main event started. At the post-fight press conference at Barclays Center, White said that Nurmagomedov's title is "the only belt" at lightweight, indicating that both Ferguson and McGregor are being stripped of their titles.