Oliveira: Something Always Happens
Add UFC lightweight contender Charles Oliveira to the list of people who feel Khabib Nurmagomedov vs. Tony Ferguson is a cursed fight.
The pair were set to compete for the lightweight title at UFC 249 earlier this month. It was the fifth time they were scheduled to meet each other with both fighters getting injured twice in the previous four attempts.
This time, unfortunately, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic prevented the fight from coming to fruition. At this rate, Oliveira believes the fight will never happen.
“I think this Khabib fight with Tony Ferguson will never happen,” Oliveira told MMA Fighting. “Something always happens, someone gets hurt. This time was the coronavirus.”
Instead, Ferguson will now battle Justin Gaethje for the interim lightweight title at the newly-rescheduled UFC 249 event taking place May 9. If “El Cucuy” comes out on top, the promotion will attempt to book a fight with Nurmagomedov for the sixth time later this year.
And Oliveira believes that will likely be the case as he feels Ferguson has the edge over Gaethje.
“Tony Ferguson is in a very good moment in his life, is beating everyone, and (he) has a unique style,” Oliveira said. “I think it would be a tough fight for Justin Gaethje now, because Tony Ferguson was training to fight the champion (and had) an opportunity to become the world champion. So he was definitely training like never before, and Justin Gaethje wasn’t training for a fight.
“… Now that he [Gaethje] has more time, he will get better prepared. We know he has heavy hands, hits really hard, so anything can happen. But I still think Tony Ferguson wins.”
As for Oliveira, he is coming off a submission victory over Kevin Lee at UFC Brasilia last month and is currently on a seven-fight winning streak. “Do Bronx” is only targeting the big names now as he looks to enter title contention.
And he has a few targets in mind.
“Looks like Dustin Poirier will fight that skinny guy, Dan Hooker, so the only ones left are Conor McGregor, Donald Cerrone and Paul Felder,” Oliveira added. “Since Cerrone was one of the last fights I lost, who knows. I’ve been asking for a fight with Conor McGregor for a while, but if it doesn’t happen, we’ll see.”