Officials confirmed the new 155-pound matchup to ESPN.com on Thursday. The bout will take place on the pay-per-view portion of UFC 187, which will take place at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Sources had told ESPN.com on Wednesday that Nurmagomedov (22-0) likely had been forced off the card due to an undisclosed injury. That bout had been expected to determine the next No. 1 contender in the lightweight division.
Makdessi (13-3) steps in on less than four weeks' notice. The 29-year-old Canadian is coming off a first-round TKO finish against Shane Campbell at UFC 186 last weekend in Montreal. Fighting out of Tristar Gym, Makdessi is 6-3 in the UFC, with three knockouts.
Cerrone (27-6) is looking to extend a seven-fight winning streak. He collected two wins in a 15-day span earlier this year in January, defeating Myles Jury and Benson Henderson via unanimous decision on Jan. 3 and Jan. 18, respectively. A former WEC title contender, Cerrone hasn't suffered a loss since August 2013 and holds notable wins against Edson Barboza, Jim Miller, Eddie Alvarez, Jury and Henderson during that time.