As the days go by, the chances of Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson hooking them up at UFC 249 on April 18, 2020, seems less and less likely. That’s because the COVID-19 pandemic is still causing worldwide lockdowns, curfews and strict stay-at-home orders.
And despite Dana White’s non-stop efforts to make it happen, it’s safe to assume that the bout could be postponed. But, could it actually be scratched altogether for the fifth time?
According to former UFC champ-champ, Daniel Cormier, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that the promotion ultimately decides to scrap Khabib vs. Ferguson in favor of booking a rematch between “The Eagle” and Conor McGregor later this year.
That’s because once the show is up and running again, UFC will likely want to recuperate a lot of the money it lost out on during its hiatus, and a rematch between Khabib and McGregor is the biggest money-making fight at the moment. Cormier explained how it could happen after being broached about the possibility by Ariel Helwani.
“No fight makes more money than Khabib vs. Conor,” Cormier said during a recent interview on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show (via ESPN). “And no Tony-Khabib fight — no matter who else is on the card — will make as much money as Khabib-Conor.
”I believe that is a possibility,” he continued. “They may end up doing that, even if the reality is for us, the diehards, I want Khabib vs. Tony. Conor can fight someone else and still make money.”
Still, it’s not that “DC” is saying McGregor deserves a rematch with Khabib — he firmly believes “Notorious” needs to get another win to get his second shot at handing Nurmagomedov his first-ever loss.
“Conor’s going to make money, but I think he should fight one more fight before he gets back in there with Khabib. What’s going to change at this point. What has he shown in 45 seconds with Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone that he proved he can go out there and change what happened in the first fight with Khabib?”
Khabib choked out McGregor at UFC 229 in Oct. 2018, though the victory didn’t do much to cool down the beef between the two. In fact, it only intensified it further because of the post-fight brawl that took place shortly after the fight.
That’s why many — Cormier included — believe the rematch could be perhaps the biggest box office fight UFC ever puts on, surpassing their first record-breaking encounter. Even if it does come at the expense of missing out on Nurmagomedov and Ferguson ... again.
Of course, UFC President, Dana White, recently revealed that he has finally found a location to stage Khabib vs. Ferguson. But, until "The Eagle" and "El Cucuy" are actually locked inside the Octagon together, all options are seemingly on the table.