This week, news surfaced that undefeated UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov had been taken to the hospital prior to his UFC 209 interim lightweight title scrap with Tony Ferguson Saturday night in Las Vegas.
While details were scarce regarding Nurmagomedov’s hospitalization, the UFC officially cancelled the fight, resulting in former UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez, and rising UFC prospect Lando Vannata both taking to social media to offer to step in for Nurmagomedov.
I know a guy.
— Lando Vannata (@GroovyLando) March 3, 2017
Alvarez of course is fresh off of his UFC 205 lightweight title fight with Conor McGregor, where he dropped a one sided TKO loss to the Irish superstar in the UFC’s inaugural Madison Square Garden event. Prior to that, Alvarez won the UFC lightweight championship in the summer of 2016 after he knocked out Rafael dos Anjos in the first round.
Vannata on the other hand fought Ferguson on short notice in his UFC debut after Nurmagomedov was forced out of their previously scheduled fight. In that fight, Vannata left fight fans stunned as he nearly defeated Ferguson in the first round, before ultimately being submitted later in the figh in a ‘Fight Of The Night’ performance.
Interestingly enough, while Vannatta is currently booked to fight David Teymur at UFC 209, Alvarez has yet to book another fight following his UFC 205 loss to Conor McGregor.
Of course, it is important to mention that Alvarez stated in his Tweet that he is walking around a town 185 pounds at the present time, 30 pounds higher than the lightweight limit of 155 pounds which the Ferguson-Nurmagomedov fight was scheduled to take place at. Alvarez offering to step in on short notice however expect the work to make this a catchweight fight if they choose to select Alvarez as Nurmagomedov’s potential replacement. On the other hand, the UFC could be looking to cash in on the hype of Ferguson-Vannats II.
Stay tuned for updates as they become available.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 3/3/2017.