UFC 219 just became very interesting. Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov (24-0) is set to clash with Edson Barboza (19-4) on Dec. 30th in Las Vegas. Barboza announced this at a Q&A held before the ceremonial weigh-ins for UFC Fight Night 119, which is taking place in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The last time Nurmagomedov competed was at UFC 205, where he defeated Michael Johnson (17-12) by submission in the third round. After this, he was scheduled to face current UFC Interim Lightweight, Tony Ferguson (23-3). As it turns out, the third attempt wasn’t the charm, because Nurmagomedov pulled out due to weight cutting complications. Nurmagomedov has been a top 3 ranked contender in the division for a while now. His health hasn’t been that good as of recent, which is why he hasn’t been competing. Nurmagomedov has been viewed as a potential title challenger for quite some time.
Barboza has also been a top lightweight contender for quite some time now. However, his inability to win in important fights has kept him from a title shot. The last time he competed was a winning effort at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Gastelum. Beneil Dariush (14-3) was his opponent, who he defeated by KO in the second round. Barboza is currently riding a 3 fight winning streak. These names include former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis (20-6), former Strikeforce and WEC Lightweight Champion, Gilbert Melendez (22-7), and the previously mentioned, Beneil Dariush.
The stakes of this bout could potentially hold major stakes for the winner. This fight will help determine the future of the UFC Lightweight Division.
UFC 219 is scheduled for December 30th in Las Vegas, Nevada.