Nurmagomedov and Ferguson prepare for epic contest

The pair will meet in the co-main event at UFC 209

BY Simon Maguire 12:46 Monday 27 February 2017, 12:46 27 Feb 2017

Image: Andre Penner / AP/Press Association Images

Top lightweight contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson clash this weekend in the co-main event at UFC 209 for the UFC's interim lightweight title.

The winner will most likely set up a clash with Conor McGregor at some stage later in the year.  

The pair have been scheduled to fight twice before only for both bouts to be scrapped due to injuries.

The fight is a fascinating match-up of styles as Nurmagomedov brings his sambo dominated submission wrestling approach against Ferguson's free-flowing style.

Ferguson enters the contest riding the crest of a nine fight win streak which includes victories over Edson Barboza and former lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos.

Nurmagomedov is unbeaten in his 24 professional fights including all seven of his UFC fights although his record has come under scrutiny now as it is missing high-level opponents. 

A succession of injuries has meant the Dagestani has only fought three times since 2013. His last win over Michael Johnson saw his opponent enter the octagon having lost two of his previous three bouts. Prior to that he fought the unheralded Darrell Horcher on short notice.

Ferguson has picked up performance bonuses in his last five outings which culminated with a dominant win over Dos Anjos in Mexico City last time out. 

The main event at UFC 209 sees the welterweight title rematch between Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson.


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