It’s official. After weeks of rumours and Twitter hashtags, No.1 Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0-0) will battle No. 2 Tony Ferguson (22-3-0) for the interim UFC lightweight crown at UFC 209 in Las Vegas.
The two had some words over Twitter, but now that the fight is officially signed, the official preamble can begin.
Tony want this money up front because not confident he's gonna win he wants to cash out because he know what I will smash him @danawhite
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) January 9, 2017
— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) January 12, 2017
Welcome back to The Crossfire.
The winner will likely unify the belt with the undisputed champion Conor McGregor, who is on hiatus until 2017 after winning the belt from Eddie Alvarez at UFC 205.
Only injury has been able to slow down Nurmagomedov, who submitted Michael Johnson in his last fight. Ferguson earned a hard fought decision over Rafael dos Anjos at TUFLA3.
UFC 209 is scheduled for March 4 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. Tyron Woodley rematches Stephen Thompson for the UFC welterweight title in the main event.
The current card is as follows:
Tyron Woodley (16-3-1) vs Stephen Thompson (13-1-1)
Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0-0) vs Tony Ferguson (22-3-0)
Alistair Overeem (41-15-0) vs Mark Hunt (12-10-1, 1NC)
Darren Elkins (21-5-0) vs Mirsad Bektic (11-0-0)
Todd Duffee (9-3-0) vs Mark Godbeer (11-3-0)
Igor Pokrajac (28-13-0) vs Ed Herman (23-12-0)
More bouts are expected to be announced.
Tickets go on sale Jan. 20.