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Dana White: Khabib Nurmagomedov v. Tony Ferguson set for UFC 223 in Brooklyn

Whether it’s for the interim title or not, Khabib v. Ferguson is happening at UFC 223, according to Dana White

It appears that the fourth time will be the charm for Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson. The two warriors will fight inside the Barclays Center on April 7th at UFC 223.

Dana White went on the “Tougher and Rich” radio show on early Wednesday and confirmed the rumors. Immediately after, the news spread like wildfire.

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It is unknown what exactly the bout would be for. Either Ferguson (23-3) will defend his interim Lightweight belt against the undefeated Khabib (25-0) or Conor McGregor will be stripped of his Lightweight Belt. He won the original belt from Eddie Alvarez back in 2016 at UFC 205 inside Madison Square Garden. If the latter was to happen, the bout would be for the undisputed Lightweight Title. Considering McGregor has not defended the title for over 431 days, basically holding the lightweight division hostage, fighting for an undisputed title makes the most sense. The same thing happened when Conor didn’t defend the Featherweight Title after 351 days.

For both of these fighters, it’s a chance to finally make it to the big dance together. The first scheduled fight between the two didn’t happen due to an injury by Khabib. The second opportunity was thrown out due to an injury by Ferguson, followed by the most recent hospitalization of Khabib hours before UFC 209.

This would be a serious test for Ferguson, who has been very productive over the years. The 33-year old fought six times between 2014-2015, going 6-0 during that time. He has a 3-0 record between 2016-2017, putting him on quite the hot streak. He defeated Kevin Lee at UFC 216 via triangle choke to win the interim title. After the fight, Ferguson called out McGregor. Like the rest of us, “El Cucuy” has become tired of waiting. While it seems McGregor won’t be available, Ferguson seems ready for the Russian super-athlete, Khabib.

Khabib is 9-0 in the UFC, and each one of those victories has been impressive. “The Eagle” defeated Michael Johnson at UFC 205, seemingly making him a contender. Previously stated inconveniences made it impossible for him to get his opportunity, until now. He put on a clinic against Edson Barboza at UFC 219, securing an easy win. It was a huge test to show his durability after all that time away. Khabib may finally gets his chance to show the world who he truly is in Brooklyn.

While Conor may be “ducking” the two for “money fights”, it’s not all that bad. Stripping him of his title could convince him to take these fights and take back the titles he never lost. Buys would increase and Conor would be back in the MMA spotlight, for positive reasons, once again. It will be an interesting few months for the UFC if that is indeed the case.

As more information comes in, we will see what Dana White ends up doing about the Conor McGregor situation. With time until Brooklyn, one can only hope Ferguson and Khabib can make it in one piece.

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Baseball Editor, Misc. Sports Editor. Covers all things combat sports (MMA, Pro Wrestling and Boxing). When he's not writing, Daniel hosts a podcast, The Main Event.
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