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Tony Ferguson scheduled to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 223 in Brooklyn

Tony Ferguson
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov are getting another chance to settle their longstanding rivalry.

Sources confirmed with MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani that Ferguson will fight Nurmagomedov in a championship bout at UFC 223 in Brooklyn at the Barclays Center on April 7.

The matchup was first reported as being set by Russian news outlet TASS, though no location was mentioned.

It is unclear whether the fight will be for Ferguson’s interim lightweight title, or if absentee champion Conor McGregor will be stripped of his belt, which would make the UFC 223 bout for the vacant undisputed championship.

On Wednesday morning, UFC president Dana White appeared on the “Toucher and Rich” radio show, where he mentioned that he expected the Ferguson-Nurmagomedov matchup to take place in Brooklyn. However, he was not asked about and did not clarify which iteration of the lightweight title will be on the line.

Ferguson won an interim belt this past October at UFC 216 when he defeated Kevin Lee by third-round triangle choke submission. It was the 10th consecutive win for “El Cucuy” who improved to 23-3 as a pro. Since that win, Ferguson has been openly lobbying for bouts with McGregor and Nurmagomedov.

This marks the fourth time that Ferguson and Nurmagomedov have been in talks to fight dating back to December 2015. Their first meeting was canceled due to a Nurmagomedov injury, and the second by a Ferguson injury. The third cancellation made the most headlines as the two were scheduled to compete for an interim title last March at UFC 209, only to see the fight canceled when Nurmagomedov was hospitalized less than 48 hours before the event due to complications related to his weight cut.

In his first fight since the UFC 209 mishap, Nurmagomedov improved his pro record to 25-0 with a lopsided unanimous decision win over Edson Barboza at UFC 219 on Dec. 30.

A strawweight title rematch between champion Rose Namajunas and Joanna Jedrzejczyk is also being discussed for UFC 223, though it has not been finalized yet. That bout was first reported by TalkMMA.

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