Khabib Nurmagomedov has got his wish to remain on the UFC On FOX 19 line-up on April 16th after Tony Ferguson pulled out, but it won’t be against any of the potential opponents he had in mind.
Nurmagomedov will now face UFC newcomer Darrell Horcher who’s coming off a four-fight winning streak and also had a 2-1 stint in Bellator a few years ago.
The Russian had hoped to fight a bigger name opponent, with Donald Cerrone offering to take him on at one stage, but the UFC had a different plan.
Getting the chance to fight in the Octagon is huge for Horcher, but coming in on short notice to fight a man of Nurmagomedov’s caliber is a brutal introduction to the big leagues for the 28 year-old.
To be fair, Nurmagomedov is coming off a two year injury layoff, but the Russian is one of the most dominant fighters in the UFC, with a perfect 22-0 record, including six victories in a row in the Octagon so far.
Nurmagomedov also holds the distinction of being the last man to defeat current lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos, and that’s helped ensure that he’s still ranked No.2 in the weight class despite his lengthy absence.
With Nurmagomedov Vs Horcher established, UFC On FOX 19 now moves ahead with Rashad Evans Vs Glover Teixeira serving as the main event, with Lyoto Machida Vs Dan Henderson stepping up to co-main event status.