The Eagle is going to land again soon in a UFC octagon near you (if you live in Vegas). The oft-injured/ill Khabib Nurmagomedov, he of the spotless 24-0 (8-0 in the UFC) record, is healthy again (at least as we type these words) and ready to rumble. After submitting Michael Johnson last November at UFC 205, the pride of Dagestan had to pull out of a fight with Tony Ferguson last minute due to a failed weight cut, and has had hernia surgery, causing him to be inactive. That will change on December 30th when he enters the cage at UFC 219.
And his return trip to the cage won’t be a very welcoming one, as a stone-cold killer will be awaiting him. His opponent will be dangerous striker Edson Barboza (19-4, 13-4 UFC), who is on a three-fight win streak, most recently KOing Beneil Dariush with a flying knee in March.
With these two top lightweights matched up, this might also hint at who’s next for current lightweight champion Conor McGregor. While a fight with interim champ Tony Ferguson makes the most sense meritocratically, the thought is a third dance with Nate Diaz makes the most sense financially. If that was to occur, it was expected that Ferguson would fight Khabib next. So with Khabib tied up now, fingers crossed we’ll see McGregor-Ferguson up next.
UFC 219 goes down December 30th from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.