Report: Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Next Fight Set For UFC 219


Top-ranked lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov may have wanted to reschedule his interim title bout with Tony Ferguson for his long-awaited return, but apparently, the UFC has other plans.

No. 3-ranked Edson Barboza just revealed during a Q&A session at this weekend’s UFC Sao Paulo (via MMA Fighting) that he is taking on Nurmagomedov at December 30’s UFC 219 pay-per-view (PPV) event from Las Vegas:

“I just got the news a few minutes ago that my next fight will be on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas against Khabib Nurmagomedov. I’m really happy with this opportunity. It’s going to be a war.”

The bout was later officially confirmed by the UFC.

Nurmagomedov has been out of action since stopping longtime contender Michael Johnson at last November’s UFC 205. He was scheduled to take on Ferguson for the interim lightweight belt at March’s UFC 209, but some serious issues with his weight cut left him out of action for the entirety of 2017 thus far.

Out of action dealing with injuries since his “Knockout of the Year” candidate versus Beneil Dariush last March, Barboza has won three straight bouts since losing to Ferguson in an all-out battle in late 2015, making his potential match-up with Nurmagomedov a clear title eliminator.

That is, in a UFC division where Conor McGregor isn’t the champ.

  • Donald Jay Simmons

    They need to strip Mcmotormouth an let the winner of this match face Ferguson for the real belt.

  • Draven

    I wanna see how khabib handles them leg kicks.

    • leonaidis

      After 24 wins, you would think he knows how to deal with leg kicks. It’s not like he’s a rookie, or just a grappler that doesn’t have much else to offer. His Sambo is excellent, and there is quite a lot of leg kicks in sambo. And a lot of really sneaky kick defense to leg lock techniques.

      • Draven

        Pettis and Melendez couldn’t handle his kicks or anything else he threw at them and they’re former champions. Dariush was winning until he got caught with a flying knee. Khabib has to be prepared for that as well. If he’s so good because he’s 24-0 he would’ve been champion by now.

  • leonaidis

    The ufc, Conor McGregor, Tony Ferguson, they can all thank their lucky stars that Khabib F:ed up, and it gave them reason to keep him away from the title a while. Who knows for how long when it comes to Khabib?

    I don’t see anybody having the all round skill set Khabib has in the 155 division, but he should get his stuff out side the octagon in check. It takes more than great skill to get to the belt.

    I don’t see Ferguson or McG as being hard fights for him. It seems to be that the hardest thing for him is getting to fight.

    And how crazy is it that we have Ferguson on a 10 fight win streak, and Khabis is on a 24 fight win streak, but the champ of the division has only 1 fight win streak at 155 in the ufc?

    • captlk

      Maybe some day kabob will actually get a current top ten lightweight on his record.

      • leonaidis

        Well at least Khabib has fought 155 pounders, some top ten, some not. McG has fought one. Or two, if you count Nate Diaz, but that was at 170. Nate is a 155 pounder, but not top 10. How he got such a jump in the 155 rankings is a mystery, he got bumped from #8 to #5 for fighting Conor, who had never fought at 155 in the ufc, at 170?!?!?!??? And Conor got choked out in the first, and barely got a win from the judges in the second. And both those fights were horrible, from both fighters. Sloppy technique, running out of cardio, running away etc etc. If it had been two unknown fighters, without the hype, they would’ve gotten booed, they were that bad.

        • captlk

          In the current UFC top 10, Khabib has only fought Michael Johnson. You forgot to mention Conor fought Alvarez, the current number 4, who had a belt when Conor made him look silly. Alvarez finished RDA in rd 1. Khabib had to go to decision with RDA. Khabib might be good, but who knows yet? Half his UFC fights against not-so-high-level competition ended with decisions. He might just like the lesser competition to protect his record .. could be why he gets injured or stuffs himself with cake and misses weight when big fights come up.

          • leonaidis

            No I didn’t. I said McG has fought two 155 pounders. I didn’t mention Alvarez by name, but two, Alvarez and Diaz, and Diaz doesn’t quite count sense it was at 170.

            Conor did make Alvarez look silly, but that, and the Aldo fight are the only fights that Conor has lived up to his hype. If you look at fight metric stats you’ll see that Conor striking and blocking isn’t even top 10 in the ufc.

            Conor blocks with his head, and that’s why he eats a lot of shots, his cardio is sub par, his grappling even worse than sub par.

            Just like Ronda had her judo armbar, Conor has his left. But to be fair to Ronda, she did KO and TKO opponents, so she was more well rounded than Conor is, but otherwise they are the same, one trick ponies, with a lot of hype.