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Dana White: Artem Lobov pulled from UFC 223 fight with Caceres in wake of McGregor debacle


BROOKLYN, N.Y. – In the wake of a massive incident involving Conor McGregor today, UFC 223 has lost one of its fights.

Artem Lobov (13-14-1 MMA, 2-4 UFC), one of McGregor’s SBG Ireland teammates in Dublin, has been pulled from his preliminary card featherweight fight against Alex Caceres (13-11 MMA, 8-9 UFC), UFC President Dana White told MMAjunkie.

Lobov, White said, was in the large group of people, along with McGregor, who attacked a bus full of of fighters at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., today following a media day for UFC 223. Facts about the incident still are pouring in, as are eyewitness videos, but White said a warrant is out for McGregor’s arrest and his plane won’t be allowed to leave the country.

“Artem was (in the group of people),” White said. “Artem’s off the card. That fight’s not happening.”

Lobov vs. Caceres was scheduled to close out the prelims on UFC Fight Pass ahead of additional prelims on FS1 and a main card on pay-per-view. UFC 223 will take place Saturday at Barclays Center.

McGregor, White surmised, was in town to watch the UFC 223 main event between lightweight champion Max Holloway and Khabib Nurmagomedov. The winner will be the new lightweight champion – and McGregor will be stripped of his title. That was determined well before he arrived in New York. Presumably, McGregor would have returned from a layoff of what is approaching two years (not counting his boxing match with Floyd Mayweather last August) to fight the winner later this year.

But Wednesday, Lobov was involved in an incident with Nurmagomedov and his crew at the host hotel. And today, that apparently helped spill over into McGregor being let into Barclays Center with a crew of people White called “thugs” and “goons,” and made his way to the loading dock where a bus of fighters was getting ready to leave.

McGregor can be seen on video throwing large objects at the bus. A window was broken, and glass cut up fighter Michael Chiesa’s (14-3 MMA, 7-3 UFC) face, which may have his main-card lightweight fight with Anthony Pettis (20-7 MMA, 7-6 UFC) in jeopardy. Additionally, White said, co-main event women’s strawweight champion Rose Namajunas (7-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC) was shaken up ahead of her title defense against Joanna Jedrzejczyk (14-1 MMA, 7-1 UFC).

Stay tuned to MMAjunkie for more on this situation as details become available.

For more on UFC 223, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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