Official: Tony Ferguson to face Khabib Nurmagomedov for UFC lightweight title on April 18

Blake SchusterYahoo Sports Contributor
Tony Ferguson (left) and Khabib Nurmagomedov will meet for the UFC lightweight title in April. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Tony Ferguson (left) and Khabib Nurmagomedov will meet for the UFC lightweight title in April. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

There’s no backing out now.

Tony Ferguson has signed a deal with UFC to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov on April 18 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

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Four previous attempts between the two sides dating back to 2015 failed to produce a bout, with each fighter having to withdraw on multiple occasions. Now UFC is hoping all the drama and delays are finally over.

Nurmagomedov (28-0) and Ferguson (26-3) will battle for the UFC lightweight championship at 155 pounds.

In between attempts to arrange the blockbuster matchup, Nurmagomedov claimed the UFC Lightweight Championship defeating Al Iaquinta by unanimous decision last April. Ferguson had been interim champion at the weight class in 2017 but was stripped of the title for inactivity before Nurmagomedov claimed it for himself.

UFC ranks Nurmagomedov and Ferguson the No. 2 and No. 9 pound-for-pound fighters, and the top two in the lightweight division.

Ferguson last fought on June 8 in a TKO victory over Donald Cerrone at UFC 238 in Chicago. The 35-year-old American hasn’t lost a bout since 2012 when he fell to Michael Johnson by unanimous decision. After 12 straight victories, he’ll have his chance to dethrone Nurmagomedov, who currently owns MMA’s longest active undefeated streak.

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Blake Schuster is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at blakeschuster@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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