On Friday morning, just a day before UFC 209, reports were buzzing that #1 UFC ranked lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov was taken to the hospital. Russian news outlets first reported that “The Eagle” was taken to the hospital three hours before the official early UFC 209 weigh-ins.
Many fans were obviously worried but still held hope that the UFC interim lightweight title fight between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson would not be scrapped from the card.
As the official early weigh-ins for UFC 209 got underway, Nurmagomedov was nowhere to be seen. Tony Ferguson made his way to the early weigh-ins and stepped on the scale coming in at a weight of 154.5 pounds, officially setting himself up for the competition. However, as the time ticked on, it seemed like it would take a miracle to save the UFC interim lightweight title fight.
The UFC released the following statement on Friday announcing that the interim title fight between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson was canceled.
“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.”
This marks the third time that Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been officially matched up for a fight in the UFC and then being canceled. Back in December 2015, the two were slated to fight in The Ultimate Fighter 22 finale. However, Nurmagomedov suffered an injury in training for the competition and was forced to pull out from the fight. The two were then scheduled again to fight at the UFC on FOX 19 event in April 2016 and then it was Ferguson who pulled out of the fight due to suffering an injury in training.
Now, in 2017, the matchup curse for Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson has shown up once again, just a day out from the scheduled competition.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/3/2017.