Edson Barboza Says He Accepted UFC Offer to Fight Khabib Nurmagomedov

Edson Barboza UFC Atlantic City Kevin Lee
Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

It’s not a title fight, but the UFC lightweight division may have a big fight brewing. On an Instagram Live Stream Tuesday, Edson Barboza unveiled that he has agreed to face Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 219. The fight would be a huge addition to the promotion’s year end card, which thus far is lacking in star power. That said, few fights for the December 30 event have been announced.

Barboza, who has been rehabbing a shoulder injury, told those watching (via MMA Fighting) that “They offered me this fight and I accepted it.“

“I said I’ll be ready for December 30, and it’s on him now. We’ll see what he does. I saw an interview with him yesterday and he said he’ll fight me if Conor fights Ferguson, and Dana (White) already said that fight will happen, so I believe my next fight will be against Khabib.”

All that’s left is for Khabib to sign off on the agreement.

Barboza (19–4), who last fought at UFC Fight Night 106 in March, is currently on a three fight winning streak. That includes a flying knee KO of Beneil Dariush at the March card in Brazil, and decision victories prior to that against top tier lightweights Anthony Pettis and Gilbert Melendez.

Khabib Nurmagomedov (24–0) has not fought in nearly a year, with his last fight coming against Michael Johnson at UFC 205. He submitted Johnson via kimura in a one-sided beating that night in New York City, but missed weight and was rushed to hospital prior to a scheduled interim title fight at UFC 209. Original UFC 209 opponent Tony Ferguson captured interim gold at UFC 216 earlier this month.

Nurmagomedov’s weight cutting issues will need to be addressed prior to any potential title fight with either Ferguson or McGregor, who will possibly meet at UFC 219 or a later date in 2018. If, of course, a third McGregor fight with Nate Diaz doesn’t happen first.

The Russian from Dagestan is perfect in his career, with eight wins in the UFC, including victories against Johnson, former lightweight champ Rafael dos Anjos, Pat Healy, and Gleison Tibeau.

UFC 219 takes place December 30 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. No main event has been announced for the card thus far.