Khabib Nurmagomedov will return to the Octagon at UFC 219 on Dec. 30 and he will face Edson Barboza.
The Brazilian announced the bout this evening and it was quickly widely reported on social media by reporters at the UFC Fight Night Sao Paulo event.
Edson Barboza says UFC 219 fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov is on.
— Fernanda Prates (@NandaPrates_) October 27, 2017
Brett Okamoto of ESPN than officially confirmed the bout with the UFC minutes after the news was first broken.
Just confirmed this with UFC. Barboza/Nurmagomedov is official for Dec. 30 in Las Vegas. https://t.co/N9m10ftUqO
— Brett Okamoto (@bokamotoESPN) October 27, 2017
Nurmagomedov (24-0) is currently unbeaten as a professional and was supposed to face Tony Ferguson last March at UFC 209 for an interim UFC lightweight title. Unfortunately, the Russian never made it to the Octagon and pulled out of the bout just 24-hours ahead of fight night citing an illness that forced him to be hospitalized. Since then, the Russian has undergone back surgery and has only recently indicated that he’s ready to return to the Octagon.
When he does, he will face Barboza (19-4) who is currently riding a three-fight win streak with wins over Gilbert Melendez, Anthony Pettis and Beniel Dariush. This will no doubt be the biggest fight of his career with the winner likely to receive a shot at either of the current 155-pounds belt holders Ferguson or Conor McGregor.