Edson Barboza hasn’t been seen inside of the Octagon since he knocked out Beneil Dariush with a knee strike at UFC Fight Night 106.
However, the layoff may be coming to an end because the fighter says he has accepted a fight against Khabib Nurmagomedov for UFC 219. There is one potential hitch to the fight coming together and that is the fact that Nurmagomedov has yet to accept the fight.
“They offered me this fight and I accepted it,” Barboza said during an Instagram live stream. “I said I’ll be ready for December 30, and it’s on him now. We’ll see what he does. I saw an interview with him yesterday and he said he’ll fight me if Conor fights Ferguson, and Dana (White) already said that fight will happen, so I believe my next fight will be against Khabib. I definitely want to fight him. He's definitely one of the best and I respect him, I respect his team. He’s definitely one of the best 155 in the world. He’s the No. 2 and I’m the No. 3, and that’s the fight that makes sense for us."
Nurmagomedov had stated in a recent interview that he wants to fight UFC Interim Lightweight Champion Tony Ferguson at UFC 219.
If Nurmagomedov isn’t ready by UFC 219, then Barboza says he has no problem heading to the fighter’s home country of Russia to face him.
“If they make this fight with Khabib in Russia? Of course,” he said. “It's just the two of us in the Octagon. People can scream and threat outside the Octagon, but wherever it is, brother, I’ll fight him anywhere. I'm in the best shape of my life. I'm more excited than ever. I'm just waiting for a phone call. I want to fight the best, someone closer to me. I'm ready. You have no idea. I feel 100 percent, and I'm ready for a big war, like always. Every time I step in the cage you guys see a big war, and next time is not gonna be different. I'm really ready for a war."
UFC 219 takes place on Saturday, December 30 from the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada with no main event announced at this time. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, with a post-show podcast to follow.