If somehow, someway you avoided the internet yesterday in all it’s forms, then today you’ve learned that Khabib Nurmagomedov is no longer fighting Tony Ferguson tonight…
Yes. One of the most highly anticipated, lightweight fights in recent memory, isn’t going down at UFC 209 after all. Early on Friday it was reported that Nurmagomedov was having a tough time making weight, and then, at around 11 AM / PT, we learned the devastating news that he wasn’t medically cleared to fight.
The incident has renewed / heightened the debate around weight cutting, but Dana White believes that Nurmagomedov’s team may have been able to save the fight. While speaking to Megan Olivi on FOX Sports 1, the UFC Presidente said this (quote via MMA Fighting):
“Basically, his team had decided to take him to just some random hospital here in Las Vegas instead of picking up the phone and calling our doctor and calling Brianna [Mattison], who runs all the medicals,” White said. “They went rogue and went out and did their own thing. Had they done this thing the right way, the fight probably could have been saved.”
We don’t know what the thinking was here. Perhaps they thought with medical attention Khabib was going to be okay, and they didn’t want Ferguson to know the lightweight had been to the hospital? Hard to say. White also reported that Nurmagomedov got to within six pounds of 155, before things went south. He also said that the undefeated fighter is going to be okay, which is great news.
UFC 209 will go down at the T-Mobile Arena Tonight in Las Vegas, Nevada. In the main event, welterweight champ Tyron Woodley will face Stephen Thompson.