News of Khabib Nurmagomedov fighting Tony Ferguson at UFC 209 had floated to the surface over the past several days, with Khabib’s father confirming his son’s next fight, while “El Cucuy” tweeted that he’d been drug tested by USADA in preparation for his showdown with Nurmagomedov. The only thing that needed to be done was for the UFC to make the official announcement, which they did on Thursday.
Nurmagomedov-Ferguson will serve as the co-main event for this March 4th pay-per-view at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. At stake will be the interim lightweight title, which means this will be a five-round fight. The UFC made the decision to create yet another interim belt following current lightweight champion Conor McGregor’s announcement that he would take time off, as he and his girlfriend await the birth of their first child.
Hopefully the third time is the charm for these two men, as their previous bookings to face each other were scrapped, with Khabib pulling out of the December 2015 date with injury, and Ferguson doing the same ahead of a planned UFC on FOX main event in April 2016. Nurmagomedov (24-0) will be putting his unbeaten record on the line, and he’s coming off a vicious beating and eventual kimura win over Michael Johnson at UFC 205. Ferguson (22-3) has won his last nine fights, including a thrilling unanimous decision over former champion Rafael dos Anjos. His fight happened precisely one week before Khabib’s victory over Johnson.
UFC 209 is headlined by a welterweight title rematch between reigning champion Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson. The two men fought to a thrilling majority draw at UFC 205. Tickets for this event will go on sale on Friday, January 20th.