A pair of intriguing lightweight matchups are reportedly in the works for UFC on Fox 19.
Top lightweight contenders Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov are expected to meet at the April 16 event, according to a report from MMAFighting.com . Ferguson was initially slated to face Michael Johnson at UFC 197 on March 5, but Johnson was forced to withdraw from the bout for undisclosed reasons. Additionally, a 155-pound clash pitting Michael Chiesa against Beneil Dariush has also been targeted for UFC on Fox 19.
The promotion has yet to formally announce the event or confirm any matchups for the card, which will reportedly take place in Tampa, Fla. UFC on Fox 18 is also expected to feature a light heavyweight showdown between Rashad Evans and Mauricio Rua.
Ferguson has won his last seven Octagon appearances, including a second-round submission of Edson Barboza in his most recent outing at “The Ultimate Fighter 22” finale. Injuries have sidelined Nurmagomedov since April 2014, when he outpointed current lightweight king Rafael dos Anjos at UFC on Fox 11.
Chiesa went 2-0 in 2015, taking a unanimous decision over Mitch Clarke at UFC Fight Night “Mendes vs. Lamas” before choking out Jim Miller in the second round this past December. Dariush, meanwhile, has been victorious in six of seven UFC bouts. Most recently, he captured a split decision over Johnson at UFC Fight Night Nashville this past August.