Top UFC lightweight contenders Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson have twice been scheduled to fight each other, and both fights fell apart due to last-second injuries. Back in Dec. 2015, Nurmagomedov had to scrap the fight due to a rib injury, while Ferguson was forced to pull out of an April 2016 fight with an injury of his own. After 15 months of cagey back-and-forths, the Eagle and El Cucuy would finally meet in the octagon tomorrow at UFC 209, settling a long overdue score and determining who would get the logical first spot in line to face Conor McGregor, should he come back to the UFC.
All that went to shit before this morning’s weigh-ins in Las Vegas when Khabib was mysteriously taken to the hospital. The Russian media reported that he had been hospitalized this morning, and MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani later confirmed that he had been taken to the hospital around 4:30 a.m. PST, saying that the issue was not with his weight. Reports trickled out about an hour and a half before the weigh-in deadline, and 12 minutes before the deadline, Helwani reported that he’d received conflicting information from sources as to whether Khabib was at his hotel or still in the hospital.
Shortly before the deadline, the UFC announced that Khabib had been released from the hospital, but would be unable to fight. The Ferguson-Khabib fight was officially canceled. The UFC’s email announcing the cancellation of the fight said that Khabib was hospitalized due to weight cutting issues.
God damn it.