Some of the luster was taken away from last night’s UFC 209 when on the eve of the event it was announced by the promotion that the scheduled interim lightweight title match between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson was off — the third time that a booked fight between the pair has failed to come to fruition.
Nurmagomedov was nixed from the bout following complications from his weight cut, which caused the Dagestani’s fighter’s camp to seek medical treatment in a Las Vegas hospital without notifying the UFC. White maintains that if Nurmagomedov’s camp had informed the UFC that they were having difficulty in making the contracted weight it was possible that the fight could have been salvaged but their move to independently seek treatment forced the hand of all parties involved.
With Nurmagomedov having such a highly-publicised history of injury problems and now a failed weight-cut on his file, White says that he is unsure what the next move for Khabib should be.
“To be honest with you, Khabib fought [at UFC 205] in New York in November then here in this fight,” White said. “Two back-to-back weight cuts like that. I don’t know if he can make the weight or if he needs to get a better plan or a dietician. Something.
“He got within six pounds and was in really rough shape. He’s going to have to take some time to recover from this weight cut, and then I don’t know what to do.”
It remains to be seen if the promotion will attempt to book Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov for a fourth time, or even try and squeeze it in to the UFC 210 fight card on April 8th, but judging by the reaction from fight fans when the first learned of the cancellation there is still a lot of interest in seeing these two finally step into a cage with each other.