Ferguson was slated to defend his interim lightweight title against Nurmagomedov in April but instead was stripped after injuring his knee. The Russian went on to fight and defeat Al Iaquinta for the vacant belt and makes his first defence against brash Irishman McGregor this weekend.
The fighter will now make his comeback against fellow contender Anthony Pettis on the UFC 229 undercard following successful surgery, but admitted to still having a “chip on my shoulder”.
“It has been five months since my injury. It took a long f***ing time for me to be here,” Ferguson said at his UFC 229 presser. “They took my belt, took a bunch of zeroes from my paycheck. How do you think I f***ing feel?”
Ferguson holds the record for number of consecutive wins in the division with 10 and should he rack up his 11th straight victory against Pettis, we will land a shot at the title he claims is still his.
Ex-UFC lightweight and feathweright champ McGregor is also making his return to the octagon after a two-year absence, having taken time off after the birth of his son and to fight boxer Floyd Maywetaher Jr in a cross-over bout last August.
Khabib will be without his trainer and father Abdulmanap for the fight at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on October 6. Nurmagomedov Sr. was denied a US visa last week to attend the event.