by Adam Martin
A battle between two of the best lightweights in the UFC is about to go down this fall in Canada.
The UFC today confirmed that a lightweight matchup between top-10 ranked Pat Healy and undefeated Khabib Nurmagomedov will take place at UFC 165, which is set for Sept. 21 at Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The bout will likely take place on the evening’s main card.
Healy (29-16-1) is coming off a drug suspension after testing positive for marijuana following a win over Jim Miller at UFC 159. Along with the suspension, Healy was stripped of the win, fined, and had his “Fight of the Night” and “Submission of the Night” bonuses revoked by the UFC. But he proved in the fight with Miller he has what it takes to be one of the top lightweights in the world. Now 30 years old and having fought all over the world, Healy is ready to make his mark in the UFC lightweight division and taking out Nurmagomedov, the top prospect in the weight class, would be a huge statement by the veteran.
Nurmagomedov (20-0) hasn’t lost since starting his pro MMA career in 2008. The 24-year-old is 4-0 in the UFC so far with wins over Gleison Tibau, Thiago Tavares, Abel Trujilo and Kamal Shalorus and he’s deserving of his shot at fighting a top-10 ranked fighter like Healy. This is a big fight for Nurmagomedov; if he loses, people will think he was overrated but if he wins, he’ll be right up there in the pecking order for the next title shot, so look for the best version of “The Eagle” yet this fall.
UFC 165 is headlined by UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones vs. Alexander Gustafsson and the co-main event is a fight for the UFC interim bantamweight championship between champ Renan Barao and challenger Eddie Wineland.
What are your thoughts?