The UFC has targeted a huge lightweight fight as Khabib Nurmagomedov will return to action against Tony Ferguson at a card expected to take place in April 16 with Florida as the most likely destination.
Sources confirmed the contest to FOX Sports following an initial report from MMAFighting.com.
The fight comes on the heals of Michael Johnson's withdraw from UFC 197 where he was expected to face Ferguson.
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Now the UFC has opted to match Ferguson up with Nurmagomedov, who has been out of action since April 2014 when he defeated future lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos.
Nurmagomedov was actually scheduled to meet Ferguson in the co-main event of "The Ultimate Fighter" Finale back in December, but he suffered a rib injury that kept him from competing.
Now that he's healthy and ready to return to action, Nurmagomedov was champing at the bit to land a top five opponent and with Ferguson's opponent suffering an injury, the two were matched up together again.
The Russian lightweight will have a tough test ahead of him after two years off as he faces Ferguson, who is currently riding a seven-fight win streak including a submission victory over Edson Barboza in his last trip to the Octagon.
It's likely the winner of the fight between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson would be next in line for a shot at the lightweight title against the winner of the UFC 196 main event between Rafael dos Anjos and Conor McGregor.