By now, you’ve surely heard that Tony Ferguson has withdrawn from his anticipated UFC 223 title fight with Khabib Nurmagomedov, and been replaced by UFC featherweight champ Max Holloway. With this unfortunate turn of events, this seemingly cursed Ferguson vs. Nurmagomedov bout has been scheduled and cancelled a whopping four times.
Having tried and failed to book this fight so many times, UFC President Dana White is now assuring that he will never again attempt to schedule it.
“Hell no,” White told ESPN‘s Brett Okamoto on Sunday. “I’m never making that fight ever again. Ever.”
While White is ready to close the door on this matchup, however, Nurmagomedov’s father and coach Abdulmanap Nurmagomedov has other plans. Speaking to TASS on Monday, the elder Nurmagomedov assured they will continue to demand a fight with the American so long as he’s able to walk.
“As long as Ferguson is able to walk, we’ll demand this fight,” he said (via RTSport) “We’re ready to fight with him any time and under any circumstances. We’re wishing him to get well, and waiting for him.”
Nurmagomedov’s father also addressed his son’s new, last-minute showdown with the featherweight champion Max Holloway.
“He’s a very dangerous opponent, who dropped Jose Aldo in his last bout. He’s very fast and a smart fighter, so this is going to a very interesting fight. I think Holloway is not any less interesting than Ferguson.”
Khabib Nurmagomedov will enter the UFC 223 main event with a 25-0 professional record, having never been defeated as a professional fighter. His last nine wins have occurred in the UFC’s Octagon, where he’s thwarted game foes such as Thiago Tavares, Abel Trujillo, Rafael dos Anjos, Michael Johnson and Edson Barboza.
Holloway, meanwhile, is on a crazy, 12-fight streak of his own. Highlights of this run include dominant defeats of Andre Fili, Akira Corassani, Cub Swanson, Charles Oliveira, Jeremy Stephens, Ricardo Lamas, Anthony Pettis, and featherweight legend Jose Aldo (twice). His overall record stands at an impressive 19-3.
Do you still want to see Khabib Nurmagomedov fight Tony Ferguson?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 4/2/2018.