Nurmagomedov was scheduled to fight Donald Cerrone on May 23rd, in what was expected to be a title shot eliminator at 155. The bout would have marked the first time Nurmagomedov had fought since last April, when he decisioned now reigning champ, Rafael dos Anjos. The grappling titan was expected to face Cerrnone last fall, but Nurmagomedov tore his ACL and had to undergo surgery.
Well, Nurmagomedov has been training out of the renowned, American Kickboxing Academy, and the gym’s Javier Mendez recently spoke to MMA Fighting.com’s Luke Thomas about the fighter’s injury. Here is some of what the coach had to say (quote via Bloody Elbow.com):
“He was sparring and no contact was actually made,” Mendez said. “He took a step back and as he stepped back, his knee went out on him. It was the same knee, and the thing is, when he came to training, he was about 90% (recovered) so we were trying to work around the surgery. It just didn’t hold.”
“I’m thinking 2-3 months of rehab and then he can start training. So I think five months would be about right.”
While it’s unfortunate that the 26 year-old has been put on the DL, at least he’s not facing a 9, 10 month lay off due to another, extensive surgery etc.
It will be interesting to see how Nurmagomedov performs in his return, however, as he will have gone around 18 months or so without fighting. The 22-0 fighter has won all six of his UFC bouts to date, and has been pretty dominant along the way.
John Makdessi, meanwhile, has been tapped to fight Cerrone at UFC 187. Makdessi is coming off an impressive, first round stoppage of Shane Campbell at UFC 186 last weekend.
UFC 187 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.