Last night the UFC finally announced that the much rumoured fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson was official for the interim lightweight championship belt and would serve as the co-main event at UFC 209.
With the official 155lb champion Conor McGregor out for the foreseeable future as his girlfriend awaits to give birth to their first child, the promotion decided it would be appropriate to have the guys officially ranked #1 and #2 compete for the interim title. Meaning the winner would likley fight McGregor in a title unification bout later in the year.
UFC 209 takes place at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, and the pay-per-view main card will now serve two title fights as Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson headline the event vying for the welterweight championship.
Dagestani-born Nurmagomedov is an undefeated fighter, almost unheard of in the UFC – especially after 24 fights, with an even split of victories with eight knockouts, eight submissions and eight decisions. According to these stats, he’s the most well rounded fighter on the entire roster.
Ferguson is no slouch either, however. Having won the 13th season of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’, he kick started his UFC career and is riding the wave of having won his last nine fights in a row, defeating the likes of former champion Rafael dos Anjos, much-hyped Lando Vannata and fellow top contender Edson Barboza.
Nurmagomedov too is coming off a marquee one-sided victory over Michael Johnson at the historic UFC 205 event last November in Madison Square Garden, New York City.
This fight has been put together twice before. The first time was in December 2015 only for Nurmagomedov to pull out due to injury. Then in April last year when Ferguson pulled out due to injury. Here’s hoping that third times a charm, especially as the stakes couldn’t be higher.
With an interim championship meaning a golden ticket to a potential life-changing pay day with the sports biggest draw, Conor McGregor.
UFC 209 (latest fight card):
Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson – 170lb title
Tony Ferguson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov – Interim 155lb title
Mark Hunt vs. Alistair Overeem
Mirsad Bektic vs. Darren Elkins
Todd Duffee vs. Mark Godbeer
David Teymur vs. Lando Vannata
Paul Craig vs. Tyson Pedro
Ed Herman vs. Igor Pokrajac