Yesterday, we learned that Tony Ferguson had been forced out of his UFC 223 showdown with Khabib Nurmagomedov with a freak leg injury. Though we all wanted to believe this news was an extremely elaborate April Fools joke, it turns out it wasn’t. It’s all very real.
With this latest calamity, Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov have now been scheduled to fight a whopping four times to no avail. Four goddamn times they’ve signed contracts to scrap, and not once have they actually made it into the cage together… you can’t make this stuff up!
By this point, most of the MMA community is hopelessly jaded when it comes to this fight. Yet there are still some sanguine fans out there who believe that the fifth time might just be the charm for this matchup.
Unfortunately, that’s doesn’t seem to be the case…
According to UFC President Dana White, who spoke to ESPN after the news of Tony Ferguson’s exit surfaced, there will never be another attempt at trying to get Ferguson and Nurmagomedov to fight each other. Ever.
“Hell no,” White said. “I’m never making that fight ever again. Ever.”
Yes, it seems that this Nurmagomedov vs. Ferguson pairing will join Alessio Sakara vs. Jorge Rivera on the list of cursed matchups that were never meant to happen. Then again, Dana White has assured plenty of things will “never” happen in the past, and oftentimes, they did anyway. Remember that time he said women will never fight in the UFC?
Sure, it seems unlikely the UFC will ever book Nurmagomedov and Ferguson again, but if the two lightweight stars continue to win, the promotion might eventually be left with no choice but to try again…
In the meantime, Ferguson will focus on his recovery, while Nurmagomedov can now look forward to a short-notice fight with beefed-up UFC featherweight champ Max Holloway.
Do you think Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson will ever make it into the cage together?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/2/2018.