Edson Barboza has established himself as a knockout artist. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
The UFC has officially booked Edson Barboza to replace Khabib Nurmagomedov and face Tony Ferguson in "The Ultimate Fighter 22" finale co-main event.
The Las Vegas-based promotion announced the news on Friday. MMAFighting.com reported late Thursday night that Nurmagomedov would have to withdraw from the card after suffering a rib injury. The Dagestani lightweight has not fought in the UFC since April 2014.
“I want to apologize to my fans. I broke my rib, and I am out of the fight,” Nurmagomedov wrote on Instagram. “I really wanted to come back; I’m not sure if I will ever come back. Thanks to my fans and sponsors. Praise to Allah.”
The 29-year-old Barboza is 10-3 over the course of a UFC tenure that began in 2010. The Brazilian owns notable wins over the likes of Ross Pearson, Danny Castillo, Evan Dunham, Bobby Green and Paul Felder. Ten of Barboza’s 16 career triumphs have come by way of knockout or technical knockout.
Ferguson has been on a roll since dropping a unanimous verdict to Michael Johnson at UFC on Fox 3 in May 2012. “El Cucuy” has won six straight in the Octagon, finishing four of his victims inside the distance. Most recently, Ferguson garnered a clear-cut unanimous decision triumph over Josh Thomson at UFC Fight Night in San Diego on July 15.
The “TUF 22” finale takes place at The Chelsea at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas and is headlined by a featherweight showdown between Frankie Edgar and Chad Mendes.