Tony Ferguson is still focused on a fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov.
It has been over two years since that last potential fight between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedovwas scheduled, but Ferguson cannot move past it. This pair of lightweight fighters have been matched together five times throughout their careers and never once made it to fight night. In MMA circles the fight is said to be cursed as every time the two are linked in a bout something goes wrong.
One time they were matched, Ferguson tripped over a wire and injured himself at the media day, another time the onset of COVID canceled the bout. The timing never worked and although they were two of the best during their time, they never were able to set foot in the Octagon together. Since the last pairing, Nurmagomedovhas retired but that has not stopped Ferguson from calling him out.
Tiny Ferguson still very much wants a fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov
Ferguson is now heading into his next fight, he will be taking on Li Jingliang at UFC 279. However, in the leadup to the fight, Ferguson continued to woo Nurmagomedov out of retirement. he is pushing to coach a season of The Ultimate Fighter with Nurmagomedov, an idea that interests fans very much.
“We got the green light,” Ferguson said at the UFC 279 pre-fight presser. “We’re waiting on Khabib’s fat ass. We got the green light from the brass, went and talked to them, got the green light from his coach, we got the green light from his agent. The reality? We’re just waiting for Khabib’s fat ass. He’s the one that’s scared. Regardless of whether or not it’s a fight we’ll go and make it entertaining. He’ll break before the fighters. I’ve still got some material I haven’t used yet so I’m just waiting for that day.”
If these two were to coach TUF, it seems unlikely that Nurmagomedov would fight him. He has been retired for two years now and seems content in coaching and running his fight promotion. That is not stopping Ferguson from trying anyway.
“I’m the one to get him out of retirement,” he said. “That’s dude’s not retired. When it comes down to it, when you lose somebody you have to take some time off, do whatever you have to do, but his father had said the fight to make would be myself and Khabib. Before he passed away, he did say that and Khabib has that in his mindset.”
If Ferguson gets the win over Jingliang on Saturday night it could give him some sway in convincing his rival to come back for one more run.