Tony Ferguson is not going to let Khabib Nurmagomedov off the hook even if the former UFC lightweight champion is officially retired.
Ferguson, who has been scheduled to fight Khabib on five separate occasions in the past, is still looking to lock himself inside of the cage with “The Eagle.” The two fighters were expected to fight at UFC 249 back in April 2020. Unfortunately, COVID-19 kicked Khabib off the card, the event was moved to May, and Ferguson eventually lost Justin Gaethje. That was the last time “El Cucuy” and Nurmagomedov were linked to each other.
While Ferguson is riding a two-fight losing streak in the UFC’s stacked lightweight division he’s done enough over the past five years to remain a key player in the ongoing title picture. Khabib’s recent departure has left the division wide open for the taking and Ferguson hopes to capitalize on the opportunity.
Luckily, “El Cucy” will have his chance to end his current skid when he takes on Beneil Dariush at UFC 262 next month. If Ferguson is able to end Dariush’s six-fight win streak then it could position him for a top fight his next time out. From there, he can work his way back to a UFC title shot in effort to entice Khabib to return for their long-awaited grudge match.
“I’m getting closer to Khabib and that’s the only fight that his pops wanted for him and that’s the only fight that they agreed to still,” Ferguson said to ESPN. “But he’s gonna watch, man. They’re gonna try to get as much film on me as they possibly can… Quit being a bitchh, quit running, f—king sign on the dotted line, Khabib. It’s the same shit. They keep giving me all these guys from Dominance MMA to kind of like toy with me.”
While it’s unlikely that Khabib returns to fighting anytime soon it’s interesting to see Ferguson still pushing the issue. Even if Nurmagomedov did come back he’d probably do so for a massive rematch with Conor McGregor, or even Dustin Poirier. Ferguson would have to go on quite the tear to make up for his recent losses and that’s a hard ask given the current talent at 155 pounds.
In any case, Ferguson must win his next match against Dariush in order to have any ammo for Khabib. If “El Cucuy” ends up losing that fight then the potential of a future clash with Khabib would officially be put to rest.
What say you, Maniacs? Will we ever see the long-awaited matchup between Khabib and Ferguson?