An early report from MMAJunkie.com indicated that Nurmagomedov was out of the fight, but a report on UFC Tonight on Wednesday indicated that the fight hadn’t been officially scrapped at the time of the show’s broadcast.
“Reports indicate that Khabib Nurmagomedov is out of his bout against Donald Cerrone at UFC 187 with a knee injury,” said host Karyn Bryant. “It is not 100-percent official. He’s going to be seeing his doctor (on Thursday).”
If Nurmagomedov is scratched from the fight, it will mark the second time that he has had to pull out of a fight with Cerrone due to a knee injury. The two were initially expected to meet at UFC 178 last September before the Russian lightweight withdrew from the bout.
The timing is extremely unfortunate, as the winner was expected to get a shot at current UFC lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos later this year.
Cerrone isn’t one to sit around and wait for a title shot to come to him, however, and he’d likely take on another fight if Nurmagomedov doesn’t get cleared. Former Strikeforce champion Josh Thomson has already started campaigning hard for the fight on Twitter. So don’t expect Cerrone to sit idle.
The UFC 187 fight card was dealt a severe blow when promotion officials stripped headliner Jon Jones of his light heavyweight championship and suspended him on Tuesday after he was charged with a felony in a hit-and-run accident in Albuquerque, N.M. earlier this week. The new main event features Jones’ original opponent, Anthony Johnson, squaring off with Daniel Cormier for the vacant championship.