On March 4th, undefeated Dagestani lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov will square off against streaking lightweight contender Tony Ferguson in a highly anticipated showdown for the interim lightweight title.
The fight will not only produce the interim lightweight champion, but will also produce Conor McGregor’s next opponent when the lightweight champion chooses to return from his hiatus surrounding the birth of his firstborn son in May. Ahead of Ferguson’s upcoming scrap with Nurmagomedov, Ferguson released the following training footage, showing himself eating body kick after body kick over the course of 30 seconds as he prepares for his upcoming scrap with ‘The Eagle’ on March 4th.
Ferguson of course is riding a 9-fight win streak into the bout, with his most recent win being a unanimous decision win over former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos at the TUF Latin America 3 Finale back in November. Prior to that, Ferguson kicked off 2016 by having a short-notice fight with Lando Vannata, where he picked up a 2nd round submission win in a ‘Fight of the Night’ performance.
Of course he will be stepping into the Octagon against Khabib Nurmagomedov, who has looked nearly unstoppable over the course of his 8-fight win streak with the UFC. Unfortunately, from 2014-2016, Nurmagomedov was sidelined with injuries before he ultimately returned to the Octagon in early 2016 where he fought Darrell Horcher on short notice after Ferguson was forced out of their scheduled fight. Nurmagomedov won the bout via TKO before then moving on to fight Michael Johnson at UFC 205 in November, where he picked up a 3rd round submission win, setting himself up for a fight with Ferguson for the interim lightweight title.
Now, with the two just two weeks away from finally fighting, only time will tell who leaves the T-Mobile Arena with the interim lightweight title.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/18/2017.