We might just get Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson after all.
Undeniably one of the biggest and most highly anticipated fights to have never happened was the five-time booked Lightweight tilt between “The Eagle” and “El Cucuy.” The very first occasion the match up was booked was for The Ultimate Fighter 22 (TUF) Finale in Dec. 2015 and all these years later, they may come full circle meeting on the show once again ... just as coaches rather than fighters expected to trade blows.
With Nurmagomedov (29-0) now happily retired and coaching several of his star pupils, Ferguson continues to fight on, having suffered four consecutive losses, starting with a Justin Gaethje showdown that originally belonged to Nurmagomedov (watch highlights). Still interested in some kind of competition between the two, Ferguson recently threw out the idea of coaching a TUF season. Nurmagomedov was on board when asked shortly after and now the boss, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President, Dana White, isn’t against it, either.
“So you’re telling me, you guys as fans, media, whatever it might be, like the idea of two guys possibly coaching that wouldn’t fight each other?” White responded when asked about Ferguson’s proposal on The Spinnin Backfist MMA Show. “I’ll consider it. Congratulations. ... I will absolutely entertain that idea.”
In the long 30-plus season history of TUF, coincidentally, season 22 featuring Conor McGregor and Urijah Faber, is the only installment that saw coaches not scheduled to fight at the end (excluding international versions of the show).
Adding to the overall storyline, Ferguson entered UFC by winning his way through TUF 13, defeating Ramsey Nijem in the finals in June 2011.
“Hopefully, they’ll get pissed off enough at each other that they actually want to fight and I can make them fight,” White joked. “I’m in. You sold me.”