"The Eagle" will be grounded for the remainder of 2014.
That's the news coming from Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com, who reports that Khabib Nurmagomedov will be out until January due to undergoing surgery for a torn meniscus.
Nurmagomedov and Donald Cerrone had agreements in place to face one another at UFC 178, but that's obviously off the table now.
"That fight is made -- it’s done," UFC president Dana White said, per Helwani. "Twenty minutes later, [Nurmagomedov] went into the gym and blew his knee out. Twenty. F---ing. Minutes. Later."
Nurmagomedov had surged up the lightweight rankings after running his professional record to 22-0, including a 6-0 run inside the Octagon. In his last outing, Nurmagomedov picked up the biggest win of his career with an unanimous-decision victory against Rafael dos Anjos back in April.
For Cerrone, it's a huge damper on his plans to fight six times in 2014. The popular fighter has fought three times in the first half of 2014, picking up KO wins over Adriano Martins and Jim Miller along with a submission victory against Edson Barboza.
I'm sure the UFC will work to get Cerrone an opponent in quick fashion, as he's quickly become a favorite of White's for his willingness to fight anyone, anywhere.
Outside of fans missing out on what was sure to be an awesome fight, the injury to Nurmagomedov adds another speed bump in getting to the top of the lightweight division moving.
Anthony Pettis has been out since winning the title in August of last year and won't compete again until December. TJ Grant has been sidelined for what seems like an eternity with issues stemming from a concussion. Benson Henderson continues to chug along, taking fight after fight, but it may be in vain if Pettis can retain his title since Henderson has lost to Pettis on two separate occasions.
The Pettis injury, combined with he and Gilbert Melendez coaching on The Ultimate Fighter: 20, has created a bit of a logjam for contenders in the lightweight division. Now we can add Nurmagomedov's injury to the list of reasons why the division is at a standstill.