UFC interim lightweight title fight has been cancelled following weigh-in drama
The UFC interim lightweight is off after Khabib Nurmagomedov failed to make the weigh-in deadline.
Russian media outlet Izvestia reported that Khabib Nurmagomedov was hospitalised just hours before the official weigh-ins for UFC 209.
Meanwhile, Ferguson weighed in under the limit, tipping the scales at 154.5 lbs.
Reached out to Nurmagomedov's manager just now. He declined to comment on this report. https://t.co/nR8lcdZqWa
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) March 3, 2017
Fox Sports' Karyn Bryant then tweeted out that Nurmagomedov may have received an IV during his hospital visit. The use of IVs by UFC fighters is banned unless an exemption is granted. Bryant reported that if the fight was to go ahead, only Ferguson could win the belt.
Hearing that Khabib received IV fluids at the hospital + has not been ruled out of fight. If it does go on, only Tony can win title #UFC209
— Karyn Bryant (@KarynBryant) March 3, 2017
Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson had been booked and subsequently cancelled twice before UFC 209. Khabib had pulled out with a rib injury ahead of their first scheduled fight in December 2015, then Ferguson had to pull out of their main event bout last April because he had fluid and blood in his lung.
Khabib had only missed weight once in UFC career before this. His clash against Abel Trujillo at UFC 160 was a catchweight bout after he came in at 158.5 lbs.
After the rumours began circulating, Lando Vannata's coach put his name forward to replace the Dagestani in the main event. Vannata is set to take on Sweden's David Teymur on the main card, but had previously fought Ferguson on short notice in his promotional debut. Their first fight was a fight of the year contender for 2016.
If Khabib can't make it to weigh in's, I know a lightweight that would love a rematch against Ferguson. 😉
— Brandon Gibson (@SixGunGibson) March 3, 2017
Another man who put his name forward was former champion Eddie Alvarez, although the tone of his tweet suggests he may have been joking. He claims that he is currently 30 lbs over championship limit.
I'm a fit trim 185 lb today !! let's work something out show Me the $$$$$$ ill catch a flight 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻💪🏻💪🏻💪🏻
— Eddie Alvarez (@Ealvarezfight) March 3, 2017
UFC officials confirmed that the headliner had been cancelled after the weigh-in deadline had passed.
UFC statement on Khabib Nurmagomedov. pic.twitter.com/l8HYyFSD5R
— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) March 3, 2017