The much anticipated bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov, 28, and Tony Ferguson, 32, has been confirmed by the UFC higher-ups. On March 4, 2017, in the co-headliner at UFC 209, the top two streaking fighters will finally put an end to who really holds sway over the 155-pound murderers’ row.
In addition, the lightly regarded interim lightweight (Bullshit) belt is also up for grabs.
Ever since Nurmagomedov mauled Michael “The Menace” Johnson at UFC 205, he’s had his sights firmly set on the division’ most coveted prize – lightweight gold. That gold now lies in the possession of Conor McGregor, who ripped it from the grasp of Eddie Alvarez in the main event of the aforesaid card.
“The Eagle vs. “The Notorious” never got off the ground though, as the latter opted to take an unspecified amount of time off.
With that match-up dead in the water, the only legitimate fight left for the undefeated Dagestani (8-0 in as many outings) was No. 2 lightweight, and sizzling hot nine-fight streaking “El Cucuy” Ferguson.
Ferguson (22-3 MMA, 12-1 UFC) who directly or indirectly sent erstwhile lightweight titleholder Rafael dos Anjos packing from the division (to the 170 class) via clinical unanimous decision victory was more than ready to throw hands with Nurmagomedov (24-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC).
However, with back-and-forth monetary negotiations between the two hitting a brick wall at every turn, the anticipated contest was in dire straits.
Now that the greenback botheration has been swiftly circumvented, it’s business as usual.
It’s expected Conor Mac will make the first defense of his strap against the winner of this bout – hopefully sometime this year.