LAS VEGAS -- If you blinked, you might have missed it.
But there it was, listed on the fight poster which was briefly displayed Saturday for UFC 170 on Feb. 22 at the Mandalay Bay Events Center. A UFC source confirmed to MMAFighting.com that the fight is official for the evening's main card.
Melendez (22-3), the longtime Strikeforce lightweight champion, came within a whisker of taking the title from then-champion Benson Henderson in his UFC debut in April, but lost a controversial split decision. He rebounded with a unanimous decision victory over Diego Sanchez in October in a memorable brawl sure to finish high on the Fight of the Year list.
The 21-0 Nurmagomedov is 5-0 since debuting in the UFC in 2012 and has efficiently climbed the ranks. He scored a one-sided victory over Pat Healy in his last fight at UFC 165. While his past two victories are via decision, the American Kickboxing Academy fighter by way of Russia has seven career knockouts and seven submissions.
UFC 168, which was previously set to be headlined by Daniel Cormier vs. Rashad Evans, will now be headlined by Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann. Cormier vs Evans will now be the co-main event.