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Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson to meet for interim title at UFC 209

UFC lightweight stars Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson have been on a collision course for the last several years as each have torn through a string of fellow contenders.

Their paths will finally cross at T-Mobile Arena on March 4 with the interim title on the line.

UFC officials confirmed to the Review-Journal late Thursday the bout would serve as the co-main event for UFC 209.

The interim title was created with lightweight champ Conor McGregor expected to miss at least the first half of 2017 as he is taking time off in anticipation of the birth of his first child.

Nurmagomedov and Ferguson were first booked to fight in December 2015, but Nurmagomedov was forced to pull out of the bout with an injury. Ferguson had to pull out of the rescheduled fight in April 2016 due to a lung issue.

The bout has also been rumored on several other occasions.

Ferguson has won nine straight fights since a 2012 loss to Michael Johnson. Nurmagomedov is 24-0 as a pro and has won eight straight fights since joining the UFC in 2012.

The winner is likely to face McGregor upon his return later this year.

UFC 209 will be headlined by a welterweight title rematch between Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson and champion Tyron Woodley.

Contact Adam Hill at ahill@reviewjournal.com or 702-277-8028. Follow @adamhilllvrj on Twitter.

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