Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have both teased the bout recently on social media, and MMAWeekly.com sources indicated that it has been all but signed off.
Nurmagomedov posted a photo on social media with a comment saying that he was preparing for UFC 209. His father and trainer, Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov, later responded to an individual on social media, saying that his son was preparing to fight Ferguson.
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That, of course, could simply be preparations in the hopes that the fight would happen, but Ferguson on Tuesday added more fuel to the fire, when he tweeted, “USADA showed up and I responded. See you in March 4 @TeamKhabib and we will settle this once and for all inside the Octagon at UFC 209.”
The UFC has been working on this fight for several weeks, but was believed to be a non-starter when UFC president Dana White declared it dead in the water.
“We were trying to make that fight,” White confirmed ahead of UFC 207. “Tony said he will not do that fight unless he makes the same exact money that Khabib makes. Khabib has a different deal, so that ain’t happening. Count that one out.”
The fight now appears to have been resurrected, and will likely be for an interim lightweight title, while champion Conor McGregor is on paternity leave.
UFC 209 also features the confirmed rematch between welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson.