Former interim UFC lightweight champion Tony Ferguson is open to facing Conor McGregor following the collapse of his showdown with Khabib Nurmagomedov. The in-form Ferguson, who has won his last 12 in a row, was scheduled to challenge Nurmagomedov for the 155lb title in the main event of UFC 249 on April 18.
The pair’s long-awaited showdown, which has been nearly five years in the making, was originally set to take place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, though the coronavirus outbreak scuppered those plans.
Amid the uncertainty surrounding the card’s new location, Nurmagomedov returned to his homeland of Russia – a decision which proved to be fatal for his third title defence as the government introduced a blanket travel ban on Monday.
On Wednesday night, ‘The Eagle’ announced he’d no longer be competing on the card, opting instead to stay in quarantine and face Ferguson at a later date.
Nurmagomedov’s withdrawal from the fight has, understandably, irked Ferguson, who wholeheartedly believes his rival returned to Russia because he had no intention of fighting him.
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“Nobody deserves that a*s-whooping besides two people, ‘McNuggets’ and ‘Team Tiramisu’ – that’s Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov
The UFC have reached out to Justin Gaethje in an attempt to save the card, although Ferguson isn’t entertaining the idea of a short-notice bout with the former World Series of Fighting lightweight champion.
At this moment in time, Ferguson’s sights are solely set on fighting for the lightweight title, although he would gladly take a fight with McGregor.
“Bro, you have an obligation,” Ferguson said during an interview with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. “You signed on the dotted line to represent your country.
“He ran. He did everything he could to avoid that a*s-whooping.
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“Nobody deserves that a*s-whooping besides two people, ‘McNuggets’ and ‘Team Tiramisu’ – that’s Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov.”
Ferguson and McGregor were on course to face one another in 2018 after ‘El Cucuy’ claimed the interim lightweight title in the main event of UFC 216.
The fight didn’t end up coming to fruition due to McGregor’s hiatus from the Octagon, which led to him being relieved of the lightweight title in April 2018.
Ferguson is still perturbed by that fact, which was evident when he further expanded on Nurmagomedov’s refusal to fight later this month.
“Khabib, I believe that he already knew that he wasn’t going to fight,” he said. “He had the opportunity to come back from Abu Dhabi dude.
“He has the power to take a plane and be able to come back. This is the second time we punked him out.
“I have been doing the exact same thing for eight years.
“To and from work, throwing in there and busting my a*s, and making sure I take care of business. I am a Hitman..
“Khabib and Conor run around with a tail between their legs. Like a f*****g dog.
“I run with dogs man, these guys are not dogs, they are a bunch of p*****s. Khabib is a b***h.”
Should the UFC opt to postpone Nurmagomedov vs Ferguson, the earliest the fight will be able to come to fruition will be September as the former will soon be partaking in Ramadan
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