It’s now official – interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson will fight khabib Nurmagomedov in the main event of UFC 223 on April 7th in Brooklyn, New York.
However, what still remains to be seen is whether Dana White will go ahead with his claim that current champion Conor McGregor would be stripped of his title due to inactivity in order to make this clash for the undisputed lightweight title.
It would be hard to argue that these two fighters haven’t earned the chance to fight for the ‘real’ belt as they have been compiled stellar winning records in the 155lb division over the past few years.
Ferguson has racked up no less than 10 wins without tasting defeat inside the Octagon since 2013, with seven of those being finished inside the distance.
Along the way the all-action star has defeated the likes of Rafael dos Anjos, Kevin Lee, Edson Barboza, Josh Thomson and Gleison Tibau to hold the No.1 contender spot in the division as well as wearing the interim title strap.
Snapping hot at his heels though is Nurmagomedov, who has arguably been the most feared man in the division for quite some time due to his dominant wrestling, which no-one has so far found an answer for.
The Russian star’s record is second-to-none, with his nine UFC victories in a row just being a part of an undefeated record that spans some 25 fights, dating back as far as 2008.
‘The Eagle’ holds wins over many of the same notable names as Ferguson, including Dos Anjos, Barboza and Tibau, as well as others like Michael Johnson, Pat Healy and Abel Trujillo.
It could be argued that Nurmagomedov may even be higher ranked than Ferguson if it hadn’t been for injury and weight-cutting issues that have repeatedly kept him away from the Octagon for extended periods of time.
Either way, there’s no question that this fight is long overdue and it’s one that no-one will want to miss.