UFC 209 on March 4 looks set to be the promotion’s next big pay-per-view.
Welterweight champion Tyron Woodley will defend his title in a championship rematch against Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson in the main event while top-ranked lightweights Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson will collide for the interim 155 lbs title in the co-main.
All fighters squared off on Thursday for the media in Las Vegas.
Woodley, 34, captured UFC gold last year. ‘The Chosen One’ blasted then-welterweight champ Robbie Lawler with an overhand right at UFC 201, knocking out the MMA veteran just two minutes into the first round. The wrestling powerhouse then fought Thompson to a draw at UFC 205 to retain the title.
Thompson, whose lone loss came to Matt Brown in 2012, is a karate-based fighter who has knocked out and beat some of the best fighters in the division. The 33-year-old striking expert holds wins over the likes of Rory MacDonald, Jake Ellenberger, and Johny Hendricks.
Nurmagomedov, a winner of 24 straight fights, is one of the most feared lightweights in the division and has manhandled most of his opponents. The Dagestani fighter last fought at UFC 205 where he dismantled and submitted Michael Johnson on the preliminary card. ‘The Eagle’ is currently ranked as the No. 1 lightweight contender in the world and will look to face Conor McGregor for the official title in the fall.
His opponent, the No. 2 ranked Ferguson, is on a 9-fight win streak and is considered one of the most unorthodox and unpredictable 155-pounders on the roster. ‘El Cucuy’ battered former UFC lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos at The Ultimate Fighter Latin America 3 Finale and proved his worth as a potential champion.
UFC 209, which also features an exciting heavyweight bout between Alistair Overeem and Mark Hunt, takes place at Las Vegas’ T-Mobile Arena on March 4.