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Midnight Mania! Tony Ferguson declines Islam Makhachev bout, $200k ‘bribe’

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UFC 249 Ferguson v Gaethje Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

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As is often the case when a great fighter loses for the first time in years, the path forward for Tony Ferguson is unclear. His situation is complicated further by just how brutally Justin Gaethje walloped him back at UFC 249, the general talent-rich nature of the Lightweight division, the ever-lurking Conor McGregor, and contract negotiations.

One potential option for Ferguson that has been offered is as a short-notice replacement to fight Islam Makhachev on Fight Island. Makhachev is a team mate of Khabib Nurmagomedov with a similar style, and he’s won his last six bouts in the UFC. To sweeten the pot, Ali Abdelaziz — who manages Makhachev, Nurmagomedov, Gaethje and half of the roster — has offered Tony Ferguson an additional $200k to accept the fight on top of his usual purse.

Earlier today, Khabib argued that “El Cucuy” should accept the fight. “Tony Ferguson is great fighter and right now he have choice,” Nurmagomedov explained to ESPN. “He can come to Fight Island and fight Islam (Makhachev). Islam have six-fight win streak, he is almost in the Top 10. Why not? Why he don’t want to take this fight? UFC is going to give him good money. Ali Abdelaziz is going to give him $100,000 and $100,000. After that, maybe he can fight for the title if he win. But I think his time is finished.”

Now, Ferguson has directly responded to Abdealziz on Twitter, and he sounds less than interested.

Classic Ferguson hashtags aside, it doesn’t seem likely that he heads to Fight Island or even fights in the immediate future. Who should Ferguson face in his return to action?


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