On Saturday night, during the broadcast of UFC Fight Night 82, the UFC confirmed the rumors that the lightweight matchup between the surging Tony Ferguson and the undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov will headline UFC on FOX 19 in Tampa, Florida.

This news comes a few weeks after it was revealed Ferguson’s original opponent, Michael Johnson, had been forced out of their UFC 196 fight with an undisclosed injury.

Both Ferguson and Nurmagomedov were originally slated to meet at The Ultimate Fighter 22 Finale in December before a broken rib for Nurmagomedov out of the bout.

Ferguson (19-3) would go on to earn an impressive submission win over Nurmagomedov’s replacement Edson Barboza, extending his win streak to eight straight. Prior to this performance, Ferguson walked away with a  dominant decision over former Strikeforce champion Josh Thomas in July. Ferguson enters this bout with a UFC record of 10-1.

Nurmagomedov (22-0), a Sambo world champion, is currently riding a six straight win streak inside the Octagon. However, ‘The Eagle has not been seen inside the Octagon since April 2014. Since then,  the Nurmagomedov has undergone several treatments to repair his injured knee. Her most recent pulled out his number one contenders bout with Donald Cerrone, which was scheduled to take place at UFC 187 in May.

In his most recent victory, Nurmagomedov dominated reigning champion Rafael dos Anjos en route to a unanimous decision at UFC on FOX 11 last April. This would mark Dos Anjos’ last defeat as he would eventually rattle of three straight wins, culminating in the earning the UFC lightweight championship in March. Nurmagomedov currently hold 15 career stoppage wins under his belt, including eight by way of submission.

The entire event will air live from the Amalie Center in Tampa on April 16.


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José began his career as a mixed martial arts journalist while still enrolled at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University. Since graduating in May 2013, he has attended dozens of high profile UFC fight cards as a credentialed member of the media, providing live cage side coverage through his articles and videos. His work has appeared on UFC.com, ArizonaSports.com and AZCentral. He is also currently one of the main contributors on Power MMA Show at Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, one of the first all MMA radio shows on a major radio station.