Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Edson Barboza Official For UFC 219

Report: Khabib vs. Edson Barboza Set For UFC 219

Even without a main event booked, this card is shaping up exceptionally well. Seeing Nurmagomedov booked opposite Barboza, and not Ferguson, does lend hope for Ferguson to potentially land a unification fight at UFC 219.

"I just got the news a few minutes ago that my next fight will be on December 30 in Las Vegas against Khabib Nurmagomedov". The Brazilian had earlier said he'd signed a bout agreement to face "The Eagle".

Nurmagomedov (24-0) hasn't fought since November of 2016, when he submitted Michael Johnson. Barboza has suffered a defeat in nearly two years and that last loss came to UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson at the UFC Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale. That put talk of an eventual showdown with lightweight champ Conor McGregor on the back burner.

After UFC was unable to book a rematch, Ferguson defeated Kevin Lee for the interim title in October at UFC 216 and instantly called out McGregor.

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Flying somewhat under the radar through all of this has been Brazil's Edson Barboza.

Barboza is coming off shoulder surgery from over the summer but has scored wins in his past three bouts, the most recent coming in the form of a TKO victory over Beneil Dariush last March at UFC Fight Night 106.

At 24-0 and 29 years old, Nurmagomedov is unquestionably one of the hottest 155-pound fighters on earth. It very much makes sense as a number one contender's bout, especially if Conor McGregor and Tony Ferguson get down to business in the near future.

UFC 219 takes place on Saturday, December 30 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with no main event announced at this time.



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