Nurmagomedov may face Gaethje in September
Russia’s UFC Reigning Lightweight Champion Khabib Nurmagomedov may face Interim Lightweight Champion Justin Gaethje of the United States in September, Nurmagomedov’s manager Rizvan Magomedov said.
"We have an approximate date and it is the month of September," Magomedov said. "The venue and the exact date of the fight are yet unknown. Everything is still undecided as the dates for the tournaments have not been announced."
"I would like to repeat myself that this date is approximate," TASS cited the manager as saying.
Asked whether another fighter may take place of Gaethje, Nurmagomedov’s manager said "Who else can be our opponent if not Gaethje?"
Nurmagomedov’s team signed a contract last November for the Russian fighter to face American Tony Ferguson at a UFC event in Brooklyn, New York, on April 18, 2020, in Barclays Center. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced in early March the state of emergency in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic, which includes the cancellation and postponement of various sports events, and the fight between Nurmagomedov and Ferguson was cancelled as well.
In March, UFC President Dana White announced that the Russian fighter would be substituted in the fight against Ferguson by Justin ‘The Highlight’ Gaethje, 31, who has a record of 22 wins and two defeats. White also said that Nurmagomedov would retain his champion’s belt and the Ferguson-Gaethje fight would be "for the interim lightweight belt."
On May 9, Gaethje booked a fifth-round TKO win over Tony Ferguson of the United States at the UFC-249 event.