Tony Ferguson claims bout with Nurmagomedov is his first title defense, not a fight for the vacant title

On April 7, in the main event of UFC 223, UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson and undefeated contender Khabib Nurmagomedov will battle for the UFC lightweight title. The understanding is that Conor McGregor, who currently wears the UFC lightweight title, will be stripped somewhere in the immediate buildup to the UFC 223 event.

According to Tony Ferguson, however, he and Nurmagomedov will not be battling for the vacant lightweight title. Instead, he claims

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