Gilbert Melendez draws Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 170 in Las Vegas

Dana White confirmed that Gilbert Melendez vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov is off.
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Damon Martin

Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the sport since 2004. His work has been published in CNN, Bleacher Report, MMAWeekly.com, Yahoo! Sports, UFC.com and SportsIllustrated.com. He also co-hosts The Great Debate Radio MMA podcast, and has appeared on ESPN Radio and SportsNet Radio. Follow him on Twitter.


A few hours ago, UFC 170 was looking like a solid card but now after the dust settled on Saturday night the Feb 22 show is shaping up to be a huge spectacle to start 2014.

Ronda Rousey will now headline the card against Sara McMann in the new main event while Rashad Evans vs. Daniel Cormier will now move to the co-main event slot, and now a third bout has been confirmed pitting two of the best lightweights in the world against one another.

Former Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez, fresh off of his fight of the year performance over Diego Sanchez at UFC 166 will take on undefeated Russian Khabib Nurmagomedov.

UFC officials confirmed the fight to FOX Sports on Saturday.

Melendez (22-3) will surely be gunning for another title shot when he steps back into the Octagon in February. The former Strikeforce title holder came within one judge's scorecard in April from becoming the UFC lightweight champion, but instead fell to split decision defeat to Benson Henderson.

Melendez fired back in October with the win over Sanchez, and now looks to make it two in a row when he returns in February at UFC 170.

Looking for his own path to the title, Khabib Nurmagomedov (21-0) has been nothing short of unstoppable thus far in his UFC career. The Dagestani is currently 5-0 in the UFC, most recently shutting out Pat Healy by unanimous decision at UFC 165 in September. Now Nurmagomedov will take a huge step the ladder as he faces the No. 2 ranked lightweight in the world as challenges Melendez in February.

Melendez vs. Nurmagomedov will occupy the third fight on the UFC pay-per-view main card below Rousey vs. McMann and Evans vs. Cormier.

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