UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway agreed to the short-notice fight but faced the toughest weight cut of his life.
However, as unpredictable as UFC 223 has been, White announced later in the day that Iaquinta will be considered the UFC lightweight champion if he gets his hand raised over Nurmagomedov on Saturday night. "Should Iaquinta win, he will not be awarded the title, but if Nurmagomedov wins, he will be crowned the undisputed champion", says UFC statement.
Iaquinta did not meet the 155-pound limit - he came in at 155.2 - when he weighed in this morning for his fight against Felder before Holloway was scratched. And though that would seem to leave Paul Felder and Anthony Pettis as a suitable pairing at lightweight, the two happen to train together.
Nurmagomedov made weight Friday.
Three bouts already had been removed from the card thanks to the McGregor fracas, cutting it down to 10 fights.
"Conor and Tony are nothing", Nurmagomedov said. The fight between Ray Borg and Brandon Moreno was canceled from the FS1 prelims because Borg suffered corneal abrasions during the incident.
Due to a change in the main event, customers may receive a full ticket refund at the original point of purchase.
Artem Lobov, a close friend of McGregor's, was pulled from the card for his involvement. At the time, his nutritionist George Lockhart said Holloway would be "tied for the largest weight cut" Lockhart ever managed.
In a separate conversation with ESPN's Brett Okamoto, Lockhart said the weight cut would be hard but not impossible with a combination of an extreme low-carb diet and exercise.
UFC then scrambled to find a last-second sub for Holloway in the headline bout at a sold-out Barclays in Brooklyn.
But Nurmagomedov vs. Felder immediately hit a snag as the NYSAC would not allow an unranked fighter to fight for a world title against one of the best in the division.