Multiple sources have confirmed that just a day before UFC 209, the co-main event, an interim lightweight (155-pound) championship fight between Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov and Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson is off the card. Nurmagomedov fell ill while cutting weight and was taken to the hospital.
Nurmagomedov fell ill while cutting weight and was taken to the hospital. The main event rematch between Stephen “Wonder Boy” Thompson and welterweight (170-pound) Tyron “The Chosen One” Woodley is still on. However, the co-main event was the major selling point for UFC 209 as the winner would not only get the interim belt but a shot at Conor McGregor to become the undisputed leader of the pack in that division.
The exact medical issue has not yet been disclosed, but again, was a weight-cutting issue. The match-up with Ferguson has now been canceled three times as Nurmagomedov was declared unfit to compete by UFC doctors. The UFC said as much in an official statement but has not discussed the matter any further at this point.
Nurmagomedov’s manager Ali Abdel-Aziz said in his own statement to MMAFighting.com:
“I feel bad for Tony and his camp, I really do. The most important thing right now is Khabib’s health. He’s currently resting in his room. We’re not thinking about what’s next at this time. I want to sincerely apologize to Tony, his team, the UFC and the fans. We were all looking forward to this fight very much.”
The Degastani is 24-0 but was only just starting to gain momentum after having sat out between mid-April of 2014 and mid-April 2016. He returned at UFC on Fox: Teixeira vs. Evans to earn a TKO over Darrell Horcher before submitting Michael Johnson by way of a kimura at UFC 205 in November.
Nurmagomedov surrendered a percentage of his purse to Abel Trujillo fight after initially failing to make weight on the day of UFC 160 (May 25, 2016.)