No mixed martial arts (MMA) fan wants any scheduled bout to be canceled because of injury, but in the case of Rustam Khabilov being forced out of his fight at UFC 170 with Rafael dos Anjos, the next best possible thing has happened.
Late last night, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced that Khabilov would be unable to compete against dos Anjos later this month (Feb. 22, 2014) at UFC 170 because of an undisclosed injury in training. Less than two hours later, UFC News Twitter announced that undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov has stepped up to fight dos Anjos at UFC on FOX 11, which takes place at Amway Center in Orlando, Fla., on April 19, 2014.
Does this surprise anyone?
"The Eagle" (21-0) has been pining to fight inside the Octagon since his last outing against Pat Healy at UFC 165, but according to UFC President Dana White, "nobody wants to fight Khabib." The 25-year-old was supposed to fight Gilbert Melendez, but that fell through, then Nate Diaz was offered the spot, only to turn it down.
Now Nurmagomedov will look to continue his reign of terror on the Lightweight division against an equally as streaky fighter.
Dos Anjos is a winner of five straight fights and was last seen at UFC Fight Night 27, outpointing the popular Donald Cerrone on the judges scorecards. The Gordo-Evolve product will have his hands full with the unparalleled Sambo pedigree of the Dagestani, likely needing to keep the fight standing to ensure success.
No easy task ... just ask Abel Trujillo.
UFC on FOX 11 will feature a Heavyweight main event between Fabricio Werdum vs. Travis Browne, as well as another pivotal Lightweight scrap between Donald Cerrone vs. Edson Barboza.
Be sure to keep it locked on MMAmania.com for the latest UFC on FOX 11 news and notes.