Lightweight standout Khabib Nurmagomedov has suffered an injury that will force him to miss his UFC 187 bout against Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone. The story was first reported by MMA Junkie. While the specifics of the injury are not known at this time, a person close the Khabib’s camp confirmed to MMA Junkie that the injury is severe enough that we would have to pull out of his May 23rd bout with Cerrone.
Nurmagomedov (22-0) has been out of action since last April dealing with knee issues. Rumors have surfaced that a knee problem may be the case of him pulling out of this fight. Sources close to Nurmagomedov have not given a timetable to his return nor has the UFC officially commented on the injury to the young Russian fighter.
The bout with Cerrone (27-6) was set to be a number one contender out and was highly anticipated due to the trash talk that both fighters have engaged in over the past few weeks.
Since joining the UFC back in 2012, Nurmagomedov has gone 6-0 with one submission and one TKO victory. His last win came over Rafael Dos Anjos, who is now the UFC lightweight champion. Nurmagomedov won the bout via a unanimous decision.
UFC 187 is less than four weeks away so finding an opponent for Cerrone may be a challenge for the UFC. Cerrone may just be pulled from the card and the company may rescheduled the bout for a later date if Nurmagomedov’s injury is not severe. With this bout being a title eliminator it would be a tough sell for Cerrone to take a fight with a replacement fighter and risk losing a title shot.
Though he as been out since April, Nurmagomedov has not been out of the public eye. He as remained very active on social media and has taken shots at Rafael Dos Anjos, Anthony Pettis, and Donald Cerrone respectively.