Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Tony Ferguson is official.
The pair will meet in the co-main event of UFC 209 for the interim lightweight title, making the winner next in line for current champion Conor McGregor.
Nurmagomedov and Ferguson are ranked #1 and #2, respectively, in the lightweight division and are both riding impressive win streaks. The UFC has been trying to book the long-awaited matchup since 2015 but injuries have kept it from happening. More recently, the hold-up was Ferguson’s demand for new terms on his contract, which the UFC eventually granted.
Nurmagomedov (24-0) is coming off of a third-round submission victory over Michael Johnson, where he was caught on camera in between rounds demanding UFC president Dana White to give him a title shot. The win extended his UFC record to a perfect 8-0 with four finishes, including a dominant win over former champion Rafael dos Anjos.
Ferguson (22-3) extended his winning streak to nine straight with a Fight of the Night decision win over dos Anjos. Prior to that, he scored back-to-back d’arce choke victories over Lando Vannata and Edson Barboza, both of which earned him Performance of the Night bonuses.
UFC 209 takes place on March 4 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The card will be headlined by the rematch between welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and challenger Stephen Thompson, who fought to a majority draw at UFC 205 in November.