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Huge blow for UFC 209 as Khabib is hospitalised and Ferguson bout is cancelled

It’s the third time a fight between the pair has been called off.

UFC president Dana White stands between Tony Ferguson, right, and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
UFC president Dana White stands between Tony Ferguson, right, and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Image: John Locher

THE HIGHLY-ANTICIPATED interim lightweight championship clash between Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson has been removed from tomorrow night’s UFC 209 card.

Nurmagomedov [24-0] was hospitalised earlier today, just hours before the weigh-ins, after he became ill due to his weight cut and his fight against Ferguson has since been called off on medical grounds.

The UFC has decided not to book Ferguson, who made weight, another opponent for the card at the T-Mobile Arena which is being headlined by the rematch of champion Tyron Woodley and Stephen Thompson for the welterweight title.

It’s the third time that Nurmagomedov and Ferguson have been due to go toe-to-toe but the pair are yet to face off in the octagon.

Tomorrow night’s main event offers Tyron Woodley a chance to leave Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson in his wake. The reigning welterweight champion thought he had done so four months ago at Madison Square when he made the first defence of his title. Having been involved in an altercation with Woodley ahead of the fight, Conor McGregor is likely to be keeping a close eye on this one too.

At the end of an epic five-round contest which was recognised with ‘Fight of the Night’ honours, Woodley was announced the winner — but in error. After two of the three judges scored the bout 47-47, the result was eventually corrected from a split decision victory for Woodley to a majority draw. This time they’ll aim to settle it. If the fight is half as good as its predecessor, fans are in for a treat.

There’s plenty more to look forward to on the UFC 209 card too. The heavyweight meeting of Alistair Overeem and Mark Hunt is unlikely to be dull, the entertaining Lando Vannata gets his next assignment against Swedish striker David Teymur, while former light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans takes on Dan Kelly.

UFC 209

Main card (BT Sport 2, 3am)

Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson
Rashad Evans vs. Dan Kelly
Lando Vannata vs. David Teymur
Alistair Overeem vs. Mark Hunt

TV prelims (BT Sport 2 & UFCFightPass.com, 1am)

Marcin Tybura vs. Luis Henrique
Mirsad Bektić vs. Darren Elkins
Iuri Alcântara vs. Luke Sanders
Mark Godbeer vs. Daniel Spitz

Fight Pass prelims (UFCFightPass.com, 11.30pm)

Tyson Pedro vs. Paul Craig
Amanda Cooper vs. Cynthia Calvillo
Albert Morales vs. Andre Soukhamthath

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