He may be undefeated in the octagon, but Nurmagomedov has spent the better part of the past year and a half injuring, then nursing, then re-injuring, then re-re-injuring himself and subsequently pulling out of every damn fight he’s been offered as a result. He’s the Russian, lightweight Dominick Cruz, if you will.
In fact, the closest thing Khabib’s even had to a legitimate fight since April of 2014 was that bench-clearing brawl he had with the Diaz brothers at WSOF 22. So it might not shock you to learn that, some six weeks out from his hotly-anticipated return bout against fellow top contender Tony Ferguson scheduled for the TUF 22 Finale, Nurmagomedov has gone down with a rib injury suffered in training. (via MMAFighting):
An injured rib has forced Nurmagomedov out of his highly-anticipated Dec. 11 fight against Tony Ferguson, sources confirmed with MMAFighting.com Thursday night.
This latest injury is particularly disheartening for the undefeated Russian because two serious knee injuries have sidelined him since his win over Rafael dos Anjos in April 2014. Despite his long layoff, the 22-0 lightweight, who by all accounts tried his best to fight through the injury but could not get cleared, is still considered one of the very best 155-pound fighters in the world.
With Nurmy now out, rumor has it the UFC is quickly rescheduling Ferguson against Edson Barboza, who has won three out of his past four fights. My guess is that Joe Silva had him on standby.
And now, there’s only one thing left for us to do: Wait and see what Showtime Pettis will have to say about this on Twitter. (#MMAJournalism)