After a period of much uncertainty, it has now been officially confirmed that lightweight #1 contender Khabib Nurmagomedov and #2 ranked lightweight Tony Ferguson will step into the Octagon at UFC 209 in a highly anticipated fight for the interim UFC lightweight championship.
Following Conor McGregor‘s dominant UFC 205 win over Eddie Alvarez back in November, and Nurmagomedov’s dominant submission win over Michael Johnson, Nurmagomedov was crowned the lightweight #1 contender. Given that McGregor would be sidelined until May due to the upcoming birth of his child, all signs pointed to Nurmagomedov and Ferguson fighting for the interim lightweight belt. While ‘The Eagle’ was quick to agree to the fight, Ferguson initially revealed that he planned to hold out for more money. Following that, UFC President Dana White stated that Ferguson would not be receiving the contract he demanded, leading many to wonder if the fight would end up happening given the contract dispute between Ferguson and the UFC brass.
Now however, following an initial report from ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, it has now been confirmed by MMAFighting that Tony Ferguson has signed the bout agreement and will be stepping into the Octagon to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov for the interim lightweight belt at UFC 209 on March 4th.
Confirmed Ferguson-Nurmagomedov set for UFC 209. The saga is over. Everyone seems happy. Story coming shortly. H/t @latimespugmire.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 13, 2017
The fight is expected to serve as the co-main event behind a welterweight title fight in the main event between Tyron Woodley and Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson. That fight of course will serve as a rematch of the pair’s UFC 205 scrap, which saw Woodley retain the belt after the judges scored the fight a majority draw.