One of the most anticipated lightweight bouts of the year which was a probable #1 contender’s match has been scrapped after one of its combatants suffered an undisclosed injury during training.
Another Knee Injury?
Khabib Nurmagomedov reportedly suffered an injury during training and is out of his UFC 187 bout against the streaking Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. And while not official word on the type of injury suffered by the undefeated Russian fighter, sources are saying that it’s a knee injury that will cost Nurmagomedov his slot at the May 23rd event. Nurmagomedov is widely considered as the top contender for the lightweight division because of his unbeaten 22-0 record and the fact that his last fight was a win over current UFC lightweight champion Rafael Dos Anjos in April of 2014. However, Khabib has not fought since that bout after he suffered a torn ACL. No timetable has been announced for Nurmagomedov’s return.
Cowboy’s New Foe
As a result of Nurmagomedov’s injury, Cerrone will now face Canadian John Makdessi at UFC 187. Makdessi is 6-3 with 3 knockouts in the UFC and is 13-3 overall. The 29-year old fighter from the Tristar Gym is coming off a first round TKO of Shane Campbell at UFC 186 last week. Makdessi faces a tough task of stepping in for Nurmagomedov within four weeks of the fight because he will be fighting one of the hottest fighters in the game today.
Donald Cerrone has been on a mean tear, winning seven fights in a row including two which were fought in between a fifteen day period last January. Cerrone’s last two wins have come against Myles Jury and Benson Henderson. Prior to those two fights, Cerrone annihilated the likes of Edson Barboza, Jim Miller and Eddie Alvarez en route to this current win streak. He and Nurmagomedov were schedule to fight for the #1 contender spot. With the injury to Nurmagomedov, it’s uncertain now if the UFC will give the title shot to Cerrone since he will be facing a lower ranked opponent.
The cancellation of the Cerrone-Nurmagomedov bout is yet another blow to UFE 187. Earlier in the week, the UFC pulled the plug on UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones by taking him off the event following a hit-and-run accident where a felony charge is expected to be filed against Jones. Jones was stripped of his title and suspended indefinitely as a result of the incident. While Daniel Cormier steps in for the main event against Anthony Johnson, the Cerrone-Makddessi bout doesn’t have the star power it used to have with Khabib on the card.