Michael Johnson has suffered an injury that’s forced him out of his lightweight fight with Tony Ferguson at UFC 197 on March 5th in Las Vegas.
Ferguson was the first to reveal the news, wishing Johnson a speedy recovery on Twitter, though at this stage it’s unclear exactly what the extent of the injury is.
That’s resulted in the UFC changing their plans and Ferguson is now expected to face another leading contender Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC On FOX 19 in April instead, though the fight is not yet officially announced.
Nurmagomedov was as feared a fighter as there’s been in the lightweight division for quite some time during a six fight winning streak in the UFC a couple of years ago, with his victims including current champion Rafael dos Anjos who he defeated by decision.
However, the dominant wrestler has been plagued by injuries that have will have kept him out of action for two years by the time UFC On FOX 19 comes around, and even as recently as the tail end of last year the 27 year-old was questioning whether he’d ever be able to return to the sport.
However, he’s since healed up and with his past reputation still leaving him ranked No.2 in the division a win over Ferguson could put him in a strong position to call for a title shot later this year.
Currently ranked at No.5, Ferguson was actually scheduled to fight Nurmagomedov in December at one point, so he has a fair idea of what he’s getting himself into here.
He too has aspirations of moving into title contention this year after an excellent seven fight unbeaten stretch in the UFC over the past two and a half years that’s included wins over the likes of Edson Barboza, Josh Thomson and Gleison Tibau.
Ferguson Vs Nurmagomedov is so far the only fight pegged for UFC On FOX 19 which takes place on April 16th.