Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Darrell Horcher on April 16th
Another Khabib Nurmagomedov fight almost didn’t fall through, but this time it wasn’t due to the Russian’s injury woes.
Khabib and Tony Ferguson were set to fight on April 16th, with many assuming that the winner would get the next shot at Rafael Dos Anjos for the lightweight title. Ferguson announced on Tuesday that due to injury, he would not be participating in the scheduled fight.
Khabib then went to Twitter to seek out his new opponent, calling out the likes of Dos Anjos, Cowboy Cerrone, and Anthony Pettis.
Cowboy Cerrone initially responded the call, but with a catch. He reportedly wanted to be assured that he would also be able to fight his scheduled fight in June vs Patrick Cote. Khabib and Cerrone both supposedly signed the terms and contracts for the fight, but it never materialized. This resulted in a glorious back and forth between the two fighters on Wednesday.
— khabib nurmagomedov (@TeamKhabib) April 6, 2016
Khabib has not fought in over two years due to injury and desperately wants to get back into the octagon. Ferguson’s injury seemed to not be that serious and some thought that the fight would be postponed until May, but it seems that Nurmagomedov is only interested in fighting next weekend.
Enter the Newcomer, Darrell Horcher
In his last two fights, Darrell “The Saint” Horcher has finished his opponent by TKO in the third rounds. He has been the main event in the last three events he has participated in, each time coming out victorious, and retaining his lightweight belt.
The 28 year old will be making his UFC debut at a catchwieght of 16o pounds on April 16th.
This is a curious decision, as it seems that fighters who have already fought in the UFC were awaiting the call.
The Other Contenders
After Khabib made it clear that he was adamant about fighting next weekend, postponing the Ferguson fight seemed out of the question. Khabib has not fought in two years and understandably wants to get into a fight sooner rather than later, but why fight against someone who hasn’t ever fought in the UFC?
It seemed like Anthony Pettis and Conwboy Cerrone were in shape, and Cerrone even claimed that he signed the paper work to have the fight at 170 pounds, so there were multiple scenarios this could have played out. Cerrone would have been the much more marketable fight, but at this point, fans do not care who Nurmagomedov is going to be fighting, they are just happy they will finally see him in the octagon once again.
Mark your calendars for April 16: Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Darrell Horcher.