UFC Officially Cancels Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson


After a report surfaced this morning that interim lightweight title contender Khabib Nurmagomedov had been taken to a Las Vegas hospital prior to his championship bout with Tony Ferguson in the co-main event of tomorrow night’s (Sat., March 4, 2017) UFC 209 from the T-Mobile Arena, the awaited title bout has been officially called off by the UFC.

The promotion released the following official statement on their website:

UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov was transported to Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center Thursday evening due to weight management medical issues. He was treated and has been discharged, UFC officials confirmed.

The scheduled interim lightweight championship bout between Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson at UFC 209 has been cancelled on the doctor’s recommendation.

UFC 209 takes place Saturday night at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, live on Pay-Per-View at 10 p.m./7 p.m. ET/PT. Tyron Woodley faces Stephen Thompson with his welterweight championship on the line in a rematch from their 2016 Fight of the Year contender at UFC 205.

The information initially arose from his father Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, who is in his homeland after being denied a visa to come watch his son fight, informed Russian media Khabib had been hospitalized.

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Ariel Helwani confirmed that news during his Facebook live broadcast of the early UFC 209 weigh-ins, stating Khabib’s team told him he hadn’t gone to the hospital because of weight cutting, and the UFC confirmed he had in the above statement. He was apparently cleared to leave the hospital but not to fight and the bout was called off.

The UFC may or may not rush to find a replacement on short notice – something that isn’t likely to fall into place perfectly. Whatever fight they may sign, however, it won’t replace the massively awaited bout that fans have been cheated out of too many times.