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After latest injury, UFC's Khabib Nurmagomodev 'may never come back'

Khabib Nurmagomedov

Late Thursday night/Friday morning, news broke from MMA Fighting's Ariel Helwani that top UFC lightweight contender Khabib Nurmagomedov suffered a rib injury training in Russia and is out of his fight with Tony Ferguson at December's UFC Fight Night: Edgar vs. Mendes, making a great weekend just a little less great.

Nurmagomedov (22-0) has been out of action with various knee injuries since April 2014 when he beat now-lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos. On an Instagram post confirming the news, Nurmagomedov opined that "I'm not sure that I'll ever be back" which could be a case of emotions running wild.

Helwani says sources tell him Edson Barboza could be lined up for past TUF winner Ferguson, a winner of six straight and a guy that is making a lot of noise at 155 pounds in the process.

With dos Anjos defending his title against Donald "Cowboy" Cerrone in December, the next challenger for the belt is likely to be the winner of January's Anthony Pettis vs. Eddie Alvarez tilt with Ferguson as a dark horse if a) the Barboza fight happens and b) if he can beat Barboza. It can also be assumed that Ferguson could be slotted into either RDA or Cerrone's spot if either guy gets injured before their showdown.