After Jon Jones was stripped of his light-heavyweight title and removed from UFC 187’s main event earlier this week, the May 23rd show in Las Vegas has suffered another blow with Khabib Nurmagomedov suffering an injury that’ll keep him from his fight with Donald Cerrone on the main card.
With Nurmagomedov currently at No.2 on the lightweight rankings with Cerrone just one position behind him, this bout was expected to establish the next No.1 contender at 155lbs, but the UFC will now have rethink their plans.
The 26 year-old Nurmagomedov has been something of an unstoppable force since arriving in the UFC back in January of 2012, winning six fights in a row in dominating fashion, with his latest victory in April of 2014 coming against current champion Rafael dos Anjos.
At this stage it’s not known what the injury was that’s forced the Russian to withdraw from next month’s event, but he had been out of action for over a year due to a knee injury.
With less than a month to go until fight night, the UFC will now be looking for a new opponent to take on Cerrone who’s also been lighting up the division with seven victories on the trot, taking out a host of familiar names along the way including the likes of Edson Barboza, Jim Miller, Eddie Alvarez and most recently, former champion Ben Henderson.
Style wise Nurmagomedov’s relentless wrestling looked like a challenging match-up for Cerrone, so in some ways this may prove to be a blessing in disguise for him.
It’ll be interesting to see who the UFC opt to pair him up with now, and it should be noted that the likes of Josh Thomson (No.9) and Jorge Masvidal (No.15) have both thrown their hat into the ring via Twitter and would certainly make for solid replacements on short notice.
In the mean time UFC 187 proceeds with two titles fights as Anthony Johnson and Daniel Cormier battle it out to establish a new light-heavyweight champion, while middleweight kingpin Chris Weidman defends his belt against Vitor Belfort.