Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) recently announced that Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje would collide for the interim lightweight title at UFC 249 fight card on April 18, 2020, at a super top secret location.
The revamped main event is a result of Khabib Nurmagomedov having to withdraw from the pay-per-view (PPV) show after coronavirus pandemic-related travel restrictions forbid him from flying out of Russia to face “El Cucuy.”
Naturally, the mixed martial arts (MMA) community took to Twitter to react to the news of the booking. And to say the emotions were mixed would be an understatement.
so we all gonna ignore the fact Khabob ran away from the fight— Dillon Danis (@dillondanis) April 6, 2020
I’d be all for the fight if it was free during this time. I’d still feel really bad for Tony cuz he deserves a shot at the real title but a free show to everyone would be a silver lining time people at home struggling during this time.— Josh Thomson (@THEREALPUNK) April 6, 2020
Me and conor at 170 then?— The Diamond (@DustinPoirier) April 6, 2020
First, @TonyFergusonXT should have waited for @TeamKhabib cuz that’s the fight people truly want. Second, @TeamKhabib should feel disrespected by the @ufc and Interim title. Tony deserves title shot but not this way, again. PPV when everyone wondering about their next paycheck https://t.co/UR8Hh7Ms6S— Josh Thomson (@THEREALPUNK) April 6, 2020
Sad it isn’t Khabib vs Tony but happy we get some fighting still https://t.co/felcjOkPsu— Ethereum is on fire (@Benaskren) April 6, 2020
AMAZING FIGHT FOR FIGHT FANS! .... THOUGHTS? https://t.co/nJ0YfWKADk— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) April 6, 2020
Tony Ferguson vs Khabib is such a bad bitch of a fight that it’s literally got us mad that the UFC is jeopardizing it by putting on literally one of the most violent fights on paper they could possibly make.— MacMally (@MacMallyMMA) April 6, 2020
I wish people could hear how they sound arguing in favor of MMA events during a pandemic solely because they're bored and want something to watch. Dude, we're all bored. We all want to be entertained. But maybe that shouldn't be the no. 1 priority right now?— Ben Fowlkes (@benfowlkesMMA) April 6, 2020
Interestingly enough, Ferguson was stripped of his interim title a few years ago after a “freak injury” sent him to the sidelines, so it’s interesting to see him in yet another interim fight. Of course, the win would likely secure him another booking against Nurmagomedov, which would be the sixth time the promotion would have attempted to make the fight.
Assuming Gaethje doesn’t spoil the party, of course.