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Surprisingly, Several Fighters Are Offering To Face Khabib Nurmagomedov On Short-Notice

Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the scariest fighters in the entire UFC, but luckily for his promoters they have a few brave souls on the roster.

The news broke on Tuesday evening that Tony Ferguson had been forced to withdraw from his April 16th date with the undefeated Russian beast due to a pretty severe health concern.

Writing on Instagram, Ferguson revealed that he had “blood/fluid” in his lung and had been advised by his doctors that to go ahead with the fight could be dangerous.

“Usually I can power through these things,” said the lethal lightweight contender. “Doc said it wasn’t wise to fight due to any more trauma could be terminal”.

Sounds like a pretty solid reason to take a pass.

So once again the UFC have been left with the task of seeking out a replacement fighter in a main event slot on severely short-notice. To make matters worse, there is the added discouraging factor of the opponent being Nurmagomedov, a man who actually wrestled bears as a kid and in his last fight dominated current lightweight king Rafael dos Anjos.

The ring isn’t exactly crowded with hats, but a few big names have tossed their’s in.

Predictably, Donald Cerrone was quick off the mark. “Cowboy” just loves to scrap and though he has a fight set for June 18th against Patrick Cote, he tweeted that he was ready to step in at UFC on Fox 19.

There are a couple of issues though. Cerrone’s next bout is scheduled at 170lbs as opposed to 155lbs, so the weight might be a stumbling block. A catchweight fight could be a possibility, however.

According to MMAFighting’s Ariel Helwani, another problem is that Cerrone is seeking assurances from the UFC that he will not be removed from his already scheduled fight if he takes this short-notice assignment.

Another fighter who has stepped up is BJ Penn.

The former lightweight and welterweight champion is on the comeback trail but his return fight has yet to be booked. So in the meantime the legendary Hawaiian has been offering his services at every opportunity. Despite being out since July of 2014, he offered to fight Conor McGregor at UFC 196 after Rafael dos Anjos pulled out, and he has done the same here.

Though he isn’t entertaining the idea of stepping in on short-notice, the aforementioned Rafael dos Anjos has also offered to fight Khabib. The Brazilian suggested that Nurmagomedov wait until July and, presumably, UFC 200 to compete.

However, Helwani has confirmed that July is out of the question for the Muslim fighter, as Ramadan ends only days prior to the massive Pay-per-view event.

One has to feel for Khabib, who hasn’t fought since that April 2014 win over RDA because of a glut of injury woes. Hopefully the UFC can sort something out and he will finally make his return on the 16th as planned.

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Author: The PA Team

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