UFC 219 goes down this weekend and in the co-main event is the eagerly anticipated lightweight bout between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Edson Barboza.
All eyes are on Khabib ahead of the weigh-ins to see will he successfully come in under the 155-lbs limit after his catastrophe the last time out at UFC 209 in March.
Back then, ‘The Eagle’ was hospitalised due to the effects of a strenuous weight-cut and forced to withdraw last minute from his showdown with Tony Ferguson.
In the meantime, Ferguson has went on to clinch the interim-lightweight belt and Khabib has been left in limbo.
Saturay night presents an opportunity for the undefeated Nurmagomedov to stamp his authority on the lightweight division he openly seeks to rule with a victory over the highly regarded Barboza.
A win for Khabib will put him back into title contention with Conor McGregor, the current lightweight champ, and Ferguson holding the interim-belt. In a pre-fight interview this week, the 24-0 Russian has told Ariel Helwani that, should he overcome his Braziliain foe this weekend, he will find himself set for a crack at ‘El Cucuy’ and the interim-title, and effectively with a ticket to fight McGregor in what would be a truly monumental title unification bout.
Check out his insightful discussion with Helwani below, where the conversation ranges from topics including the weight-cut ahead of Khabib in the final 24-hours, his upcoming bout, and where he sees himself moving after his encounter with Barboza on Saturday night.