Nurmagomedov looks set to pull out of his scheduled lightweight bout with Donald Cerrone after suffering an injury in training.
It had been speculated that Nurmagomedov's absence would see Cerrone drop off the card, but ESPN reported late on Thursday that Makdessi would step up to fill the void.
Makdessi has a won four of his last five UFC fights, while Cerrone, who is one of the brightest stars in the lightweight division, is looking for his eighth straight victory.
UFC 187 has already been forced into a high-profile change, with Jon Jones removed from the main event after being arrested for felony hit-and-run. Jones had been scheduled to fight Anthony Johnson, and his place will be taken by Daniel Cormier.