Edson Barboza (19-4 MMA, 13-4 UFC) announced today that he is fighting top-ranked lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov (24-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) at UFC 219.
Nurmagomedov earlier this month showed his desire for newly interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson fight for his long-awaited return, but UFC has some other plans.
Edson Barboza revealed on Friday at Q&A in Sao Paulo that he is competing against Khabib at UFC 219 on December 30’s pay-per-view (PPV) event in Las Vegas.
Quotes Via MMA fighting:
“I just got the news a few minutes ago that my next fight will be on Dec. 30 in Las Vegas against Khabib Nurmagomedov,” Barboza said. “I’m really happy with this opportunity. It’s going to be a war.”
Previously Nurmagomedov and Ferguson roped for three fights since 2015, unfortunately, each time rematch fell apart. Earlier this month Barboza announced that he accepted the Nurmagomedov fight, but Khabib was still lingering on the idea that to give a shot against UFC interim lightweight champion Tony Ferguson so that Conor Mcgregor can take on Diaz trilogy fight. Later Khabib acknowledged that he is willing to take Barboza if plan changed.
Edson who recently recovered from a shoulder injury, knowing a victory could earn him his long-awaited first UFC title shot.
Barboza (19-4), who has won three consecutive bouts via unanimous decision over Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez before scoring an incredible TKO over Beneil Dariush at UFC Fight Night 106.
“Everybody knows his game,” Barboza said Friday of Nurmagomedov. “It’s no secret to anyone. But I’m a MMA fighter and I’m not afraid of going to the ground with him. If he gives me an opening on the ground, I have a chance to end the fight there. I’m sure that if I go there and do my best, I’ll come out victorious.
“I’m a brown belt under Ricardo Almeida and I’m ready, no doubt. People doubt my jiu-jitsu a little bit because most of the fighters wasn’t able to take me down, so they haven’t seen my jiu-jitsu. But I’m ready. But you’ll be surprised.”
— FOX Sports: UFC (@UFCONFOX) October 27, 2017
UFC 219 takes place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on December 30th.