Tony Ferguson appeared alongside ESPN journalist Ariel Helwani and shared his thoughts on a potential match-up with the undisputed king of the lightweight division Khabib Nurmagomedov. After failing to get a title shot on multiple occasions, Ferguson’s much-anticipated fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov fell apart after the pandemic put the entire world on state lockdown. Preparing for a seasoner grappler like Khabib Nurmagomedov, Ferguson accepted a short-notice fight against a fierce striker in the form of Justin Gaethje only to suffer his first loss inside the octagon in over 13 fights. Justin Gaethje will now take on Khabib Nurmagomedov for the undisputed UFC Lightweight Championship at UFC 254 later this month.
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Ahead of the match-up, Tony Ferguson was asked whether he would like to fight Khabib Nurmagomedov. Tony stated that he is not planning to wait for Khabib, “I don’t wait on f—ing nobody,” Ferguson said. “Khabib, he can retire. He can do whatever … he wants. I’m not gonna hold his hand. I’ll be there for him as a brother in f—ing arms across the mat, but that’s all I can say.”
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Ferguson’s new-found respect for Khabib is certainly surprising considering the bittersweet back and forth during the pre-fight press conference leading to UFC 249. However, it’s not shocking considering both the fighters have shared warm regards about each other in the past. Khabib has stated that it is an inspiration to train for Ferguson, while Tony maintains that Khabib is a credible fighter who deserves to hold the UFC Lightweight Championship.
Tony Ferguson vs Khabib Nurmagomedov has fallen apart a record five times
Khabib Nurmagomedov undermined a potential Tony Ferguson showdown after he announced his retirement after another fight should he get a win over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254. Additionally, Khabib revealed the name of his opponent and expressed his interest at fighting former Welterweight Champion Georges St-Pierre in an epic clash at the lightweight division.
Earlier, it was reported that Dana White had plans for Khabib to compete against Conor McGregor in the Ultimate Fighter. However, Khabib rejected the idea and stated that he is currently focused on what’s ahead of him. Soon after, White revealed he has exciting news for Nurmaggomedov should he triumph over Justin Gaethje at UFC 254.