Khabib Nurmagomedov booked against Edson Barboza at UFC 219

Two of the best lightweights in the world are going to meet on Dec. 30.

UFC 219 just landed a massive lightweight battle.

Undefeated Russian wrecking machine Khabib Nurmagomedov is expected to meet noted knockout artist Edson Barboza on Dec. 30 at the event being held at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

UFC officials confirmed the matchup following an announcement from Barboza on Friday during a Q&A session in Brazil.

Nurmagomedov hasn’t fought since last November when he earned a submission victory against Michael Johnson at UFC 205. He was scheduled to return in March for an interim title fight against Tony Ferguson but Nurmagomedov ended up in the hospital after suffering through a brutal weight cut, which forced the bout to be cancelled.

Now Nurmagomedov will return with something to prove as he looks to claim his spot as the No. 1 contender in the lightweight division.

Meanwhile, Barboza has won three fights in a row and four out of his last five with his only loss coming to Ferguson in a bout he accepted on short notice back in 2015.

Most recently, Barboza has put himself directly in the path of title contention as he’s looked better than ever while picking up wins over former champion Anthony Pettis as well as Gilbert Melendez. Barboza also landed a ‘knockout of the year’ candidate when he flattened Beneil Dariush in his last fight in March.

Nurmagomedov vs. Barboza is the latest addition to a growing lineup at UFC 219, although a main event for the card still hasn’t been announced.

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.