This weekend, the UFC will return to Las Vegas, Nevada with UFC 209. In the evening’s main event, we’ll see welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and challenger Stephen Thompson rematch for divisional gold. In the co-main event, meanwhile, we’ll see undefeated Dagestani star Khabib Nurmagomedov take on the streaking Tony Ferguson for interim lightweight gold.
In advance of this anticipated interim lightweight title fight – which the odds suggest Nurmagomedov will win – the UFC has released footage of Nurmagomedov’s most recent fight. This fight saw him weather a bit of early adversity to plow Michael Johnson to the mat, where he mauled him for a significant period of time, verbally encouraged him to give up, and finally forced him to tap with a bone-bending second-round kimura. Watch this fight in full at the top of this post!
With this impressive destruction of the dangerous Johnson, Khabib Nurmagomedov improved his overall record to a sparkling 24-0. Other highlights of this bafflingly successful professional run include triumphs over former champion Rafael Dos Anjos, and names like Abel Trujillo, Pat Healy, and Thiago Tavares.
Ferguson, meanwhile, will enter this fight on an incredible nine-fight win-streak. His most recent win occurred just a week before Nurmagomedov’s defeat of Johnson, when he battled former champ Rafael Dos Anjos to a unanimous decision win. Other highlights of his recent streak include defeats of lightweight talents like Lando Vannata, Edson Barboza, Josh Thomson, and Abel Trujillo. The American is currently 22-4 overall.
The winner of Nurmagomedov and Ferguson’s interim lightweight title fight should be expected to battle undisputed lightweight champion Conor McGregor sometime in the future. Given McGregor’s current flirtation with a boxing battle with Floyd Mayweather, however, the circumstances surrounding this possible lightweight title fight remain quite nebulous.
Who do you think comes out on top in UFC 209’s Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson co-main event? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/26/2017.