This weekend, the UFC will touch down in Las Vegas, Nevada with UFC 209. In this stacked card’s main event, we’ll see champion Tyron Woodley and challenger Stephen Thompson battle for welterweight gold in a rematch of their thrilling November draw. In the evening’s co-main event, meanwhile, we’ll see undefeated Dagestani grappling specialist Khabib Nurmagomedov take on the streaking Tony Ferguson for the interim lightweight title.
While Nurmagomedov and Ferguson’s anticipated battle is not technically for the undisputed lightweight title, Nurmagomedov believes it is a bigger fight than Woodley and Thompson’s welterweight title rematch, and that it should have gotten the main event spot instead.
The Dagestani star explained this feeling on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour.
“It’s going to be the people’s main event,” he said of his fight with Ferguson. “This is number-one exciting fight in this fight card, and I think this is truly main event fight. It’s a very interesting fight. For me, for him, for everybody who’s going to watch.”
Nurmagomedov then elaborated that he considers this the greatest lightweight fight in UFC history.
“A lot of people are going to watch this fight. My fan base is huge, you know. This is a very big fight. In my opinion, this is the greatest lightweight fight ever in the UFC.”
From there, Nurmagomedov added that he doesn’t really care if this fight is for the interim or undisputed title. In his opinion, the fans – and undisputed champ Conor McGregor – are well aware of what this fight means.
“I don’t think about the belt, if this is interim or real belt, because people know,” he said. “Conor has fought one time in the UFC at lightweight, and he’s tapped a lot of times. This Saturday, inshallah, when I become undisputed undefeated lightweight champion, I don’t think [McGregor] can change [anything]. The only way is to fight with me, and I don’t believe [he’ll do] this.”
Do you consider Khabib Nurmagomedov and Tony Ferguson’s interim lightweight title fight the people’s main event of UFC 209? Sound off, PENN Nation!
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 2/27/2017.