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Fresh off TKO win, John Makdessi gets call to replace Khabib Nurmagomedov against Donald Cerrone

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

A highlight-reel knockout can take you pretty far -- like to a massive fight on one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year.

John Makdessi will replace the injured Khabib Nurmagomedov to face Donald Cerrone at UFC 187 on May 23 in Las Vegas, UFC officials announced Thursday afternoon. ESPN was the first to report the news.

Makdessi (13-3) knocked out Shane Campbell at 4:53 of the first round at UFC 186 just five days ago in Montreal. Overall, the Canadian striker has won four of his last five fights. The 29-year-old Makdessi, who trains out of Tristar Gym, has wins over Daron Cruickshank and Sam Stout. This will be by far the biggest step up of his career and it'll come on less than a month's notice.

Cerrone (27-6, 1 NC), who is no stranger to filling in on short notice himself, would have fought Nurmagomedov in a title eliminator before the Dagestani star fell injured this week. "Cowboy" has won seven in a row and is coming off a unanimous decision win over former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson in January. Cerrone, 32, has just two losses since 2011.

Nurmagomedov (22-0) was supposed to make his return from knee surgery after being out 13 months. Sources said Nurmagomedov sustained another knee injury in training Wednesday, but it was immediately unclear how long he would be sidelined. "The Eagle" had a doctor's appointment scheduled Thursday.

This is the second shakeup of UFC 187 in the last three days. Jon Jones was supposed to face Anthony Johnson in the main event, but he was suspended and his light heavyweight title was stripped after being arrested on felony hit-and-run charges. Johnson will meet Daniel Cormier in the main event with the vacant belt on the line.

The UFC 187 co-main event still features Chris Weidman defending his middleweight title against Vitor Belfort.

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