Apparently, a bout between lightweights Gilbert Melendez (22-3 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Khabib Nurmagomedov (21-0 MMA, 5-0 UFC) isn’t official for UFC 170, after all.
Soon after Saturday’s UFC 168 event, the official “UFC Tonight” Twitter account announced the fight was set. Soon after, though, UFC President Dana White denied that.
As he wrote on Twitter: “Not true, this fight is not done yet.”
Although not officially, the bout is targeted for UFC 170, which takes place Feb. 22 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The main card airs on pay-per-view following prelims on FOX Sports 1 and UFC Fight Pass.
If it’s ultimately booked, Melendez will return following his “Fight of the Year” candidate with Diego Sanchez, whom he beat via unanimous decision at UFC 166 in October. That fight marked the first win in the UFC for “El Nino,” who debuted in the promotion with a title fight loss to then-champion Benson Henderson in April. Prior to the debut, he built a seven-fight winning streak as a champion with Strikeforce.
Nurmagomedov would look to keep his perfect record intact. The Russian finished 2013 with a 3-0 record with decision wins over Pat Healy and Abel Trujillo at UFC 165 and 160, respectively, and a knockout win over Thiago Tavares in January.
The current UFC 170 card includes:
Champ Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann – for women’s bantamweight title
Daniel Cormier vs. Rashad Evans
Rory MacDonald vs. Demian Maia
Rafael dos Anjos vs. Rustam Khabilov
Mike Pyle vs. T.J. Waldburger
Raphael Assuncao vs. Francisco Rivera
Stephen Thompson vs. Robert Whittaker