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The numbers were outstanding and leading the way was an unlikely opponent - Al Iaquinta.

But pressed on the commission's official stance on the fight, White conceded that Iaquinta's official weight is 155.2, making him ineligible to win the title under the NYSAC's statutes.

The UFC featherweight champion was declared medically unfit to fight after failing to make the 155-pound weight limit for a UFC lightweight title fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov.

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Pettis weighed in at 155.2lbs but NYSAC regulations allowed him two hours to shed the excess.2lbs if he was interested in fighting for the title. Throughout the day the UFC scrambled looking for a main event. However, the weight cut has proved to be too challenging for Holloway and he has now withdrawn from his second main event in just a matter of months.

However, it seems that the bout won't happen as the promotion's president Dana White has claimed the featherweight champion has been ruled unfit to fight.

It's unclear if the UFC will try to renegotiate with Pettis, cancel the entire fight altogether, or make another match-up in its place.

UFC then scrambled to find a last-second sub for Holloway in the headline bout at a sold-out Barclays in Brooklyn. As a result, it appears UFC 223 will move forward with nine fights. Holloway and Nurmagomedov were fighting for the lightweight title left vacant by McGregor's almost 18-month absence. Artem Lobov, a close friend of McGregor's, was pulled from the card for his involvement.

"I tried to get it. Commission is stopping it", he tweeted. Throw in the likely return of former UFC heavyweight champion and current WWE star Brock Lesnar, and UFC's solution to finding a new crop of stars could instead be promoting some returning favourites.

The only New Yorker on the entire card, Iaquinta will receive a rousing welcome when he headlines his first ever UFC event.

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