It has been confirmed that Khabib “The Eagle” Nurmagomedov, 29, and Tony “El Cucuy” Ferguson, 33, will headline “UFC 223” at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York on April 7, 2018. Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White also confirmed that the winner will be the new UFC Lightweight Championship during a press conference on January 19, 2018.
However, White refused to confirm whether or not the belt will be for the official UFC Lightweight Champion title. There was no clear explanation about replacing Conor “The Notorious” McGregor, 29, or stripping him of the title.
Ferguson is currently the interim UFC Lightweight Champion. Pressed by the media, White refused to clarify if the title at stake at “UFC 223” is the interim title or the official one.
What White acknowledged was that McGregor has not defended his title for a long time and it was unfair for the rest of the UFC fighters in the lightweight division. The last time McGregor defended his title was on November 12, 2016 at “UFC 205” where he knocked out Eddie Alvarez via punches.
Currently, McGregor has 21 wins and 3 losses. On the other hand, Ferguson has 23 wins and 3 losses while Nurmagomedov has 25 wins and 0 loss.
Nurmagomedov’s most recent fight was on December 30, 2017. He defeated Edson “Junior” Barboza, 31, at “UFC 219” via unanimous decision.
The last time Ferguson was in the UFC cage was on October 7, 2017. He submitted Kevin “The Motown Phenom” Lee, 25, via triangle choke at “UFC 216.”
With Nurmagomedov and Ferguson headlining, “UFC 223” will be co-headlined by Rose “Thug” Namajunas, 25, and Joanna Jedrzejczyk, 30. It will be a rematch between the reigning UFC Women’s Strawweight Champion and the former titleholder.
On November 4, 2017, Namajunas knocked out Jedrzejczyk via punches at “UFC 217.” The former was born in Wisconsin to Lithunian parents while the latter was born in Olsztyn, Poland.
Ferguson, who is of Mexican descent, was born in Oxnard, California. Nurmagomedov was born in Dagestan, Russia.