Tony Ferguson has finally moved on from unsuccessfully fighting Khabib Nurmagomedov, to winning an interim UFC lightweight title. The Russian menace he was supposed to fight against had to sit back and watch it all unfold. Now, it seems like the UFC is trying to move on as well. With fans wondering if Khabib would sit out until the end of the year, they’re trying to book him into a fight with Edson Barboza. The lightweight contender has said he was not only offered, but accepted a fight with Khabib, now he’s just waiting on him to sign on the dotted line as well.
“I want to fight as soon as possible, man. I told my manager I’m good to go, and now I’m waiting. I had a complicated moment with the shoulder injury, but now I’m 100 percent ready, just waiting for someone to accept to fight me. They offered me this fight [with Khabib Nurmagomedov] and I accepted it. I said I’ll be ready for December 30, and it’s on him now. We’ll see what he does. I saw an interview with him yesterday and he said he’ll fight me if Conor [McGregor] fights [Tony] Ferguson, and Dana [White] already said that fight will happen, so I believe my next fight will be against Khabib. I definitely want to fight him. He’s definitely one of the best and I respect him, I respect his team. He’s definitely one of the best 155 in the world. He’s the No. 2 and I’m the No. 3, and that’s the fight that makes sense for us.”
“I see myself winning, that’s all. I see myself winning all of my fights, and this one is no different. I really see myself winning this fight. If they make this fight with Khabib in Russia? Of course. It’s just the two of us in the Octagon. People can scream and threat outside the Octagon, but wherever it is, brother, I’ll fight him anywhere. I’m in the best shape of my life. I’m more excited than ever. I’m just waiting for a phone call. I want to fight the best, someone closer to me. I’m ready. You have no idea. I feel 100 percent, and I’m ready for a big war, like always. Every time I step in the cage you guys see a big war, and next time is not gonna be different. I’m really ready for a war.” — Edson Barboza said on an Instagram livestream.
Khabib Nurmagomedov said on The MMA Hour that he hasn’t been offered the fight yet. Even if he had, he made a point of saying he’d only fight Edson Barboza if Conor McGregor was booked against Tony Ferguson, which is the fight Khabib truly wants. There hasn’t been any big announcements for UFC 219 besides the return of Carlos Condit, it needs a name like Nurmagomedov on it. This seems like the more likely fight to book, if the UFC doesn’t want to risk the Ferguson match-up again.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 10/17/2017.